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World Grand Prix 2019 Draw: Van Gerwen to face Hughes in Dublin opener

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 02 Dec 2019
Michael van Gerwen is the reigning and four-time champion (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Grand Prix title with a clash against debutant Jamie Hughes, while second seed Rob Cross has been drawn to face Mensur Suljovic in the double-start major.
Van Gerwen, who defeated Peter Wright by five sets to two in last year’s final to clinch the title for the fourth time, starts out his latest Grand Prix pursuit with a tricky show-down against Czech Open champion Hughes.
Hughes is one of six debutants in the line-up for the prestigious double-start tournament, which returns to the Citywest Convention Centre from October 6-12, with the star-studded field battling it out for a record £450,000 prize fund.
The line-up is comprised of the top 16 players from the main PDC Order of Merit alongside the next 16 highest ranked players from the ProTour Order of Merit.
The top eight players from the main Order of Merit are seeded in the draw bracket.
World Matchplay champion Cross has been handed a formidable First Round tie against fellow Premier League star Mensur Suljovic – the highest ranked unseeded player.
Two-time World Champion Gary Anderson will take on former World Youth Champion Keegan Brown, while two debutants collide as reigning and three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant faces former World Masters winner Krzysztof Ratajski.
James Wade, the 2007 and 2010 champion, opens up against Scotland’s John Henderson – who reached the Semi-Finals here two years ago with a famous scalp of MVG along the way.
Last year’s beaten finalist Peter Wright starts out against German number one Max Hopp, with world finalist Michael Smith facing a tough battle against 2017 runner-up Simon Whitlock.
Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price kicks off his campaign against 2013 finalist Dave Chisnall, while another stand-out tie sees Ian White take on Joe Cullen in a repeat of July’s World Matchplay whitewash.
Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney, who claimed his first major title here two years ago, returns to face former Lakeside finalist Danny Noppert in Round One.
Adrian Lewis, the 2010 runner-up, hosts Dutch World Cup star Jermaine Wattimena, as former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan meets Steve Beaton – appearing in his 16th World Grand Prix.
Mervyn King, runner-up here in 2012, faces World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh, while another closely-matched contest sees Chris Dobey and Ricky Evans collide.
World number 14 Jonny Clayton faces world number 18 Stephen Bunting, while UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall plays crowd favourite Vincent van der Voort.

World Grand Prix 2019 Draw Bracket

First Round
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Jamie Hughes
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Steve Beaton
James Wade (8) v John Henderson
Mervyn King v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael Smith (5) v Simon Whitlock
Joe Cullen v Ian White
Gary Anderson (4) v Keegan Brown
Ricky Evans v Chris Dobey
Rob Cross (2) v Mensur Suljovic
Glen Durrant v Krzysztof Ratajski
Peter Wright (7) v Max Hopp
Adrian Lewis v Jermaine Wattimena
Gerwyn Price (6) v Dave Chisnall
Stephen Bunting v Jonny Clayton
Daryl Gurney (3) v Danny Noppert
Vincent van der Voort v Nathan Aspinall