The draw for the 2021 Betfred World Matchplay has been confirmed, with Dimitri van den Bergh starting the defence of…
The draw for the 2021 Betfred World Matchplay has been confirmed, with Dimitri van den Bergh starting the defence of his title against Devon Petersen.
The historic major returns to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and will feature 32 players competing for £700,000 in prize money and the Phil Taylor Trophy from July 17-25.
The top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit are seeded in the draw and are joined by 16 qualifiers from the one-year ProTour Order of Merit.
Dimitri van den Bergh claimed the title in sensational style on his debut last year, defeating Gary Anderson 18-10 in the final in Milton Keynes.
The Belgian ace, who will step onto the Winter Gardens stage for the first time as the eighth seed, has been drawn to face South Africa’s Petersen – one of seven debutants in this year’s World Matchplay.
Michael van Gerwen, the 2015 and 2016 champion, is the number three seed and will open up his campaign against former Brisbane Masters champion Damon Heta.
Peter Wright, runner-up in 2017 and seeded number two, meets Dutch ace Danny Noppert, as world number one and World Champion Gerwyn Price takes on former finalist Mensur Suljovic.
Three other former champions also feature in the field, with James Wade, Rob Cross and Gary Anderson seeded fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Wade will face debutant Luke Humphries in a repeat of March’s UK Open final, while 2019 winner Cross meets recent ProTour event winner Ross Smith and 2018 champion Anderson takes on a resurgent Stephen Bunting.
Michael Smith, runner-up in Blackpool two years ago, takes on dangerous debutant Ryan Searle in one of the stand-out ties of the opening round, while Premier League champion Jonny Clayton starts out against World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode.
Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa makes his Winter Gardens debut against German number one Gabriel Clemens, as 2020 Premier League champion Glen Durrant faces emerging star Callan Rydz in a North East derby.
The full schedule of play will be confirmed in due course.
Betfred World Matchplay 2021 Draw
Gerwyn Price (1) v Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright (2) v Danny Noppert
Michael van Gerwen (3) v Damon Heta
James Wade (4) v Luke Humphries
Rob Cross (5) v Ross Smith
Gary Anderson (6) v Stephen Bunting
Michael Smith (7) v Ryan Searle
Dimitri Van den Bergh (8) v Devon Petersen
Dave Chisnall (9) v Vincent van der Voort
Jose de Sousa (10) v Gabriel Clemens
Nathan Aspinall (11) v Mervyn King
Glen Durrant (12) v Callan Rydz
Krzysztof Ratajski (13) v Brendan Dolan
Daryl Gurney (14) v Ian White
Joe Cullen (15) v Chris Dobey
Jonny Clayton (16) v Dirk van Duijvenbode