The 2022 Grand Slam of Darts gets under way in Wolverhampton on Saturday with the first set of group fixtures…
The 2022 Grand Slam of Darts gets under way in Wolverhampton on Saturday with the first set of group fixtures held across two sessions.
The 32-player field is comprised of PDC tournament winners and finalists from the last 12 months, as well as various Order of Merit winners and Tour Card holder, Development Tour and Challenge Tour qualifiers.
Players are initially split into eight groups, with the top two from each group following the round-robin phase progressing to the knock-out stages.
Part One of a packed opening day at the Aldersley Leisure Village features a host of decorated darters in action, each hoping to hit the ground running by picking up two points at the first time of asking.
World number one Gerwyn Price begins the defence of his title in Group A with a tie against reigning World Youth Champion Ted Evetts.
Price has won all three stagings of this prestigious event in Aldersley, becoming the joint second most successful player in Grand Slam history.
The Welshman opens up against the world number 106 – making his first appearance in this event since 2016, when he finished bottom of the group following three straight defeats.
The other Group A fixture sees 2014 runner-up Dave Chisnall take on 2012 champion Raymond van Barneveld in an unmissable encounter.
Chisnall, Masters finalist and winner of a European Tour and Players Championship event this season, has progress from the group in five of his last six Grand Slam campaigns.
Van Barneveld, meanwhile, came through the Tour Card holder qualifier for the second successive year, having bowed out in third position in his group 12 months ago.
Group C commences with a clash between Masters champion and Premier League finalist Joe Cullen and Tour Card holder qualifier Ritchie Edhouse – making his debut in the competition.
The other tie in Group C sees Michael Smith, runner-up in the World Championship, UK Open and European Championship this year, take on 2022 Women’s Series Order of Merit winner Lisa Ashton – making her fourth consecutive Grand Slam appearance.
The opening match of the afternoon sees World Cup winner Simon Whitlock, Grand Slam semi-finalist in 2020, take on 2018 semi-finalist Mensur Suljovic – one of the eight Tour Card holder qualifiers.
UK Open champion Danny Noppert and PDC Asian Championship winner Christian Perez of the Philippines also face off in Group B.
Group D sees World Series Finals runner-up Dirk van Duijvenbode and German star Martin Schindler go head-to-head, with both aiming to progress through the group phase for the first time.
That is following by a meeting between 2018 World Champion Rob Cross, winner of two Players Championship events this year, and Czech number one Adam Gawlas – a Tour Card holder qualifier last week.
The evening session kicks off with a tie between newly-crowned European Champion Ross Smith and debutant qualifier Luke Woodhouse in Group G.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Michael van Gerwen, winner of three major televised titles this year, starts out against 2021 World Youth Championship runner-up Nathan Rafferty – who reached the Last 16 on his debut here 12 months ago.
A fascinating renewal of an unlikely Grand Slam rivalry sees World Champion Peter Wright take on Women’s World Matchplay champion Fallon Sherrock for the third time in this event.
Wright was a 5-1 winner when the pair first met in last year’s group stages, before defying a 99 average from Sherrock in the Quarter-Finals to close out a thrilling 16-13 victory.
Elsewhere in Group E, World Grand Prix runner-up Nathan Aspinall takes on debutant qualifier Alan Soutar – who reached the Fourth Round of last year’s World Championship.
Group H opens up with a blockbuster clash between 2021 Players Championship Finals runner-up Ryan Searle and new sensation Josh Rock – World Youth finalist and a winner of a recent ProTour event.
Luke Humphries, a four-time European Tour event winner this season, starts out against Challenge Tour Order of Merit winner Scott Williams – who has also picked up a ProTour title in a breakthrough year.
Group F sees World Cup winner Damon Heta, who also claimed Gibraltar Darts Trophy glory recently, face a resurgent Jermaine Wattimena – who secured a Grand Slam return via the Tour Card holder qualifier.
World number nine Jonny Clayton, runner-up alongside Gerwyn Price in this year’s World Cup, meets North American Champion Leonard Gates – quarter-finalist in this year’s US Masters in New York.
The action gets under way from 1pm GMT, with group matches to be contested over the best of nine legs.
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Grand Slam of Darts 2022 Day One Schedule
Saturday November 12
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Groups A-D Opening Matches
Simon Whitlock v Mensur Suljovic (B)
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Martin Schindler (D)
Joe Cullen v Ritchie Edhouse (C)
Dave Chisnall v Raymond van Barneveld (A)
Rob Cross v Adam Gawlas (D)
Danny Noppert v Christian Perez (B)
Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts (A)
Michael Smith v Lisa Ashton (C)
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Groups E-H Opening Matches
Ross Smith v Luke Woodhouse (G)
Ryan Searle v Josh Rock (H)
Damon Heta v Jermaine Wattimena (F)
Nathan Aspinall v Alan Soutar (E)
Luke Humphries v Scott Williams (H)
Peter Wright v Fallon Sherrock (E)
Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Rafferty (G)
Jonny Clayton v Leonard Gates (F)
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