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World Darts Championship 2020/21 Day One preview and order of play: Wright commences title defence

World Darts Championship 2020/21 Draw: Wright to face West or Gilitwala in Ally Pally opener

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 03 Dec 2020
Peter Wright claimed the crown for the first time in 2020 (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The draw for the 2020/21 PDC World Darts Championship has been confirmed, with Peter Wright kicking off his title defence against either Steve West or Amit Gilitwala at Alexandra Palace.

The 28th staging of the PDC World Championship will feature the top 32 players from the PDC Order of Merit, the next highest 32 ranked players from the ProTour Order of Merit, plus a further 32 International Qualifiers.

The sport’s show-piece event will be staged at London’s Alexandra Palace from December 15, 2020, to January 3, 2021 and will see fans return for the first time since March in a COVID-secure environment.

The £2.5 million event features 96 players from 29 different countries battling it out for the sport’s richest and most prestigious prize – the Sid Waddell Trophy.

The world’s top 32 players will enter the tournament at the Second Round stage, with Round One featuring the 32 qualifiers from the ProTour Order of Merit and the 32 international representatives.

Wright defeated rival Michael van Gerwen 7-3 in the final on New Year’s Day to become the ninth different winner of a PDC World Championship.

The world number two will his launch his title defence against either European Championship quarter-finalist West or Indian qualifier Amit Gilitwala on the opening night of the competition.

Van Gerwen will be seeded number one as he bids for a fourth world title and a third major of the season, having won both the UK Open and Players Championship Finals.

The world number one starts out against either Scotland’s Ryan Murray or Lourence Ilagan of the Philippines.

Gerwyn Price, the number one seed, reached the Semi-Finals last year and will look to go a step further, kicking off with a tie against either Luke Woodhouse or 2018 semi-finalist Jamie Lewis.

Gary Anderson, back-to-back World Champion in 2015 and 2016, has been drawn to face either Latvia’s Madars Razma or Japanese debutant Toru Suzuki.

Rob Cross, the 2018 World Champion, faces a tough opener against either World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode or World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks.

Adrian Lewis, back-to-back winner in 2011 and 2012, will play either 2019 Brisbane Masters winner Damon Heta or American ace Danny Baggish.

Michael Smith, runner-up in 2019, faces either Jason Lowe or Russian qualifier Dimitriy Gorbunov.

Three-time BDO World Champion and current Premier League champion Glen Durrant will take on either 1996 Lakeside World Champion Steve Beaton or Brazilian number one Diogo Portela.

Two-time World Darts Championship semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall will take on either two-time BDO World Champion Scott Waites or Canadian World Cup star Matt Campbell.

Campbell’s World Cup team-mate Jeff Smith or emerging Irish sensation Keane Barry will vie for the right to face world number 22 Chris Dobey.

Grand Slam finalist James Wade launches his latest quest for a first world title with a clash against either in-form Tyneside thrower Callan Rydz or Australian qualifier James Bailey.

World Matchplay champion Dimitri van den Bergh awaits the winner of the tie between former quarter-finalist Luke Humphries and 66-year-old darting legend Paul Lim.

Dave Chisnall, the number eight seed, will face either former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown or Development Tour winner Ryan Meikle.

Ian White, the number ten seed, meets either Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts or Chinese qualifier Di Zhuang, while two-time major winner Daryl Gurney plays Republic of Ireland’s William O’Connor or Dutch debutant Niels Zonneveld.

Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa lies in waiting for the winner of one of the stand-out First Round ties between in-form Ross Smith and debutant David Evans.

Four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton will face Adam Hunt for the right to take on Tipton’s Jamie Hughes, while debutant Women’s Series qualifier Deta Hedman plays Stoke’s Andy Boulton for the right to face former Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting.

The tournament schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.

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World Darts Championship 2020/21 Draw

Second Round

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ryan Murray/Lourence Ilagan
Peter Wright (2) v Steve West/Amit Gilitwala
Gerwyn Price (3) v Luke Woodhouse/Jamie Lewis
Michael Smith (4) v Jason Lowe/Dimitriy Gorbunov
Rob Cross (5) v Dirk van Duijvenbode/Bradley Brooks
Nathan Aspinall (6) v Scott Waites/Matt Campbell
James Wade (7) v Callan Rydz/James Bailey
Dave Chisnall (8) v Keegan Brown/Ryan Meikle
Dimitri van den Bergh (9) v Luke Humphries/Paul Lim
Ian White (10) v Kim Huybrechts/Di Zhuang
Daryl Gurney (11) v Willie O’Connor/Niels Zonneveld
Glen Durrant (12) v Steve Beaton/Diogo Portela
Gary Anderson (13) v Madars Razma/Toru Suzuki
Jose de Sousa (14) v Ross Smith/David Evan
Krzysztof Ratajski (15) v Ryan Joyce/Karel Sedlacek
Joe Cullen (16) v Wayne Jones/Ciaran Teehan
Jonny Clayton (17) v John Henderson/Marko Kantele
Simon Whitlock (18) v Darius Labanauskas/Chengan Liu
Mervyn King (19) v Max Hopp/Gordon Mathers
Mensur Suljovic (20) v Maik Kuivenhoven/Matthew Edgar
Adrian Lewis (21) v Damon Heta/Danny Baggish
Chris Dobey (22) v Jeff Smith/Keane Barry
Jeffrey de Zwaan (23) v Ryan Searle/Danny Lauby
Jermaine Wattimena (24) v Derk Telnekes/Nick Kenny
Danny Noppert (25) v Martijn Kleermaker/Cameron Carolissen
Stephen Bunting (26) v Andy Boulton/Deta Hedman
Vincent van der Voort (27) v Ron Meulenkamp/Boris Krcmar
Jamie Hughes (28) v Adam Hunt/Lisa Ashton
Devon Petersen (29) v Steve Lennon/Daniel Larsson
Brendan Dolan (30) v Mike De Decker/Edward Foulkes
Gabriel Clemens (31) v Andy Hamilton/Nico Kurz
Ricky Evans (32) v Mickey Mansell/Haupai Puha