Joe Cullen secures maiden TV title with emotional Masters triumph

An emotional Joe Cullen secured the first televised title of his career at the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters with an 11-9 win over Dave Chisnall in the final.

Cullen had never previously reached a televised final, but triumphed at the first time of asking by clinching the season’s first silverware in Milton Keynes.

After thrashing Gary Anderson 10-1 on Saturday, the Bradford ace followed up Sunday’s earlier wins over Michael van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa with victory against Chisnall in a tense final.

Cullen held off Chisnall’s spirited fightback from 5-2 down in a dramatic final, as legs of 12, 14 and 12 darts saw ‘The Rockstar’ take command.

Chisnall, however, reeled off three legs in a row before Cullen sandwiched an 82 finish between 14-darters to regain command at 8-5, before taking out 126 to move to the brink of victory at 10-7.

He missed ten match darts across the next two legs as Chisnall kept his hopes alive and pulled back to 10-9, but Cullen pinned double 18 in the next to write his name into the history books.

The win comes only three months after Cullen’s mother passed away, and the 32-year-old emotionally celebrated the success with his father on stage.

“I’ve dreamed of this moment for a long time,” said Cullen. “I felt like I was going to win it at the start of the day, so to actually get over the line feels amazing.

“It’s bitter-sweet. I’d love my mum to have been here to see me do it but life’s not always fair. I miss my mum dearly so that’s definitely for her.

“I lost my mum in October and it’s absolutely gut-wrenching. That was for my mum.

“It was special to have my dad here. Losing a parent is always tough, so to have my dad by my side supporting me is great.”

Victory in the 2021 Masters sparked a run of four TV titles for Jonny Clayton, and Cullen is hoping to emulate that success after claiming his maiden big-stage triumph.

He added: “It’s a foot on the ladder and it’s something that a lot of players higher ranked than me haven’t done, so it can only be a positive going forward.

“Hopefully this is the first of many. I’ve proved I can do it on TV and it’s even more pleasing because I played well.

“My finishing all weekend has been pretty good but you can’t practice for the moment you have a dart to win a TV title.

“I felt comfortable for the whole game and then all of a sudden I thought I was going to win and that’s when it all goes to pieces, as you saw.

“The double 18 at the end was more a relief. I got over the line and that’s all that matters.”

Chisnall saw off World Championship finalist Michael Smith in Sunday afternoon’s Quarter-Finals and ended Jonny Clayton’s title defence with an 11-7 Semi-Final success.

However, he then suffered defeat in a ninth televised final of his career, extending his wait for an elusive maiden major.

“Joe deserved to win that,” admitted Chisnall. “It just wasn’t there tonight – I didn’t play that well but he let me in and I took my chances.

“The crowd were brilliant and I’ll be back – I’ll keep trying to win my first major and get the big trophy.”

Clayton’s defence of his Masters title saw him overcome world number one  and fellow Welsh star Gerwyn Price in the Quarter-Finals before losing out to Chisnall.

Five-time champion Van Gerwen was joined in losing at the quarter-final stage by Smith, Price and Simon Whitlock.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day Three Results

Sunday January 30

Afternoon Session

Dave Chisnall 10-8 Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price 8-10 Jonny Clayton
Simon Whitlock 9-10 Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen 7-10 Joe Cullen

Evening Session

Jonny Clayton 6-11 Dave Chisnall
Jose de Sousa 8-11 Joe Cullen

Joe Cullen 11-9 Dave Chisnall

Ladbrokes Masters 2022 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

The final eight battle it out for the season’s first televised silverware at the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes on Sunday.

The season-opening invitational started out with 24 of the world’s top players on Friday, now just eight remain in contention for the £60,000 top prize at the Marshall Arena.

Day Three sees the Quarter-Finals contested in the afternoon, before the Semi-Finals and final take centre stage in the evening session.

Jonny Clayton puts his title on the line with a show-down against a familiar opponent in world number one Gerwyn Price.

Clayton, whose success on this stage 12 months ago sparked a burst of four televised titles during a landmark season, is bidding to become only the second player to retain this trophy.

The world number eight came through a dramatic last-leg decider with Dimitri van den Bergh in his opener on Saturday, averaging 100 in the process, and now comes up against his former World Cup winning team-mate in a repeat of last October’s World Grand Prix final.

Price, who surrendered the World Championship title at the start of this month, began his new campaign with a 10-8 victory over Ryan Searle and is out to clinch this title for the first tine, having reached the Semi-Finals last year.

Another box office battle sees five-time Masters champion Michael van Gerwen take on player of the tournament so far – Joe Cullen.

Van Gerwen won this title in consecutive years from 2015-2019 and is out to regain the trophy and make an immediate statement of intention for the new season, having picked up only the Nordic Masters title in front of the TV cameras in 2021.

The world number three, who was withdrawn from the World Championship due to a positive Covid test, recovered from 9-7 down and survived five match darts to snatch a 10-9 win over Luke Humphries on Saturday with an average of 91.5.

Cullen, meanwhile, has produced two unstoppable displays en route to the Quarter-Finals, defeating Daryl Gurney 6-2 before hammering Gary Anderson 10-1 with a 106.3 average and 75 per cent on the doubles.

Cullen was beaten by MVG in an epic World Championship Last 16 clash two years ago and will be out to gain a degree of revenge as he chases a first televised triumph and a possible Premier League place.

The opening Quarter-Final tie sees St Helens stars Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith go head-to-head.

Smith has seemingly picked up from where he left off at Alexandra Palace 26 days ago, averaging 105.5 in a 10-6 win over Krzysztof Ratajski in the Last 16.

Smith, runner-up here in 2020, is on a mission to atone for his World Championship final heartbreak and is set for a heavy-scoring show-down with the 2016 Masters finalist.

Chisnall has coasted into a fourth consecutive Masters Quarter-Final for the loss of just four legs, whitewashing Stephen Bunting 6-0 before averaging 100 in a 10-4 rout of James Wade on Saturday.

Simon Whitlock has once again taken full advantage of an unexpected late call-up to an event by reaching his first Masters Quarter-Final since 2013.

The Australian, who stepped in for Danny Noppert, backed up his First Round win over Dirk van Duijvenbode with a 10-8 scalp of reigning and two-time World Champion Peter Wright.

Whitlock reached the Semi-Finals of the 2020 World Grand Prix as a stand-by qualifier and will look to do the same here at the expense of world number seven Jose de Sousa.

De Sousa, making only his second appearance in this event, secured his first win by overcoming European Champion Rob Cross 10-7 with a 98.7 average, and the Premier League finalist looks to be returning to form after a disappointing end to 2021.

The action gets under way from 12.45pm GMT, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day Three Schedule

Sunday January 30

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)

Dave Chisnall v Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
Simon Whitlock v Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Price/Clayton v Chisnall/Smith
Whitlock/De Sousa v Van Gerwen/Cullen


Van Gerwen edges Humphries in decider as Whitlock sends home Wright at The Masters

Peter Wright’s first competitive outing as a two-time World Champion ended in defeat at the hands of Simon Whitlock in the Second Round of The Masters in Milton Keynes, while Michael van Gerwen edged past Luke Humphries.

Just 26 days on from winning his second World Championship at Ally Pally, Wright was beaten 10-8 by Whitlock as the Australian continued to make the most of his late call-up to the event.

Whitlock, who stepped in to replace Danny Noppert, will return to the Marshall Arena for Sunday’s final day of action, along with Saturday’s seven other winners – who include reigning champion Jonny Clayton, world number one Gerwyn Price and five-time Masters winner Van Gerwen.

Whitlock produced a characteristically battling performance to spoil Wright’s return to action as he reached his first Masters Quarter-Final since 2013.

Three consecutive legs saw the 52 year-old move within a leg of the match at 9-5, only for Wright to reply in kind to cut the gap to 9-8.

Despite a 180 from Wright in the following leg, Whitlock produced a 15-darter to get over the line.

“Peter has just won the World Championship, so it’s obviously a big scalp to take,” said Whitlock. “I got a bit panicky and nervous towards the end but thankfully I got it done.

“It’s more relaxing knowing you shouldn’t be in a tournament, I feel like there’s no pressure on me.”

Whitlock’s Quarter-Final opponent will be Jose de Sousa – who enjoyed a return to form in Saturday’s opening tie as he defeated European Champion Rob Cross 10-7.

World number seven De Sousa bounced back from a disappointing early exit at the World Championship to secure his first Masters victory, which he sealed with a 122 checkout on the bull.

Van Gerwen survived five match darts from Humphries as he began his quest for a sixth Masters title in dramatic fashion.

A stunning burst from Humphries saw him win four legs in a row to move within a famous win at 9-7, but the debutant’s five missed doubles in leg 18 proved costly.

Van Gerwen took advantage of Humphries’ misses with a crucial last dart double ten for an 80 checkout to force a decider in which he outscored his opponent.

“Games like this are always tough,” said Van Gerwen. “I was far from my best tonight, I struggled to get myself going.

“I was trying too hard, I don’t know why. I made mistakes and you can only blame yourself. I have to do better tomorrow, simple as that.”

The Dutchman will now face Joe Cullen, who produced one of his finest ever displays in a televised event in a 10-1 thrashing of Gary Anderson.

A ruthless performance from Cullen saw him average 106.3, pinning three ton-plus checkouts in successive legs – including a 167 combination – and missing just three double attempts.

The 2017 runner-up had no answer to the barrage from Cullen, who is into the quarter-finals for the second time in his career.

“Everything I went for today I felt like I was going to hit,” said Cullen.

“Normally my game is about scoring heavily to give myself time to hit a double but today my doubles were going in first or second time.

“It’s a brilliant feeling to have, especially on a TV stage. I don’t want to be remembered as a nearly man so it’s time I won a big one, maybe it will be tomorrow.”

Wales’ top two Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton will meet in a mouth-watering Last Eight clash after seeing off Ryan Searle and Dimitri Van den Bergh respectively.

Price landed a 164 checkout in his 10-8 win in a match the world number one led throughout despite pressure from debutant Searle.

“I was thinking too much in that game instead of just playing,” Price admitted. “I felt under enormous pressure today.

“I’ve had a full month off and hardly practiced and I think that showed tonight, I was a bit rusty.

“I need to up my game if I want to beat Jonny, he’s a fantastic player who won a lot of titles last year.”

Clayton’s passage through was less straight forward as he came through a 19-leg thriller to keep alive his hopes of retaining the title.

With Clayton leading 9-6, Van den Bergh showed resilience to force a decider, only for the Welshman to land a timely 180 before wrapping up the win with an 88 checkout in the following visit.

“Dimitri didn’t go away, he’s a class player and I’m so glad to get over that mark,” said Clayton.

“I just could not pull away from him; it was good timing with the 180 in the last leg.

“I’m happy with how I played considering we’re just coming back from a break.”

Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall will meet in an all-St Helens clash after victories over Krzysztof Ratajski and James Wade respectively.

In his first outing since losing a second World Championship final, Smith averaged 105.49 in an impressive 10-6 win in which he fired in eight 180s and a 164 finish.

“I thought I played well once I got going, I was maybe guilty of enjoying the crowd too much in the first couple of legs,” Smith admitted.

“Fair play to Krzysztof, he never gave up and he showed what a classy player he is especially towards the end.

“I’m pleased with my mind and where my game is at the moment. Ally Pally is gone now, it’s all about 2022.”

Chisnall also averaged 100 and landed nine 180s in a dominant 10-4 defeat of 2014 champion Wade.

After going 3-2 down, Chisnall reeled off the next seven legs without reply before finishing the job to book his place in the Last Eight for a fourth consecutive year.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day Two Results

Saturday January 29

Second Round

Afternoon Session
Jose de Sousa 10-7 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 10-1 Joe Cullen
Michael Smith 10-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade 4-10 Dave Chisnall

Evening Session
Jonny Clayton 10-9 Dimitri van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price 10-8 Ryan Searle
Peter Wright 8-10 Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen 10-9 Luke Humphries

Ladbrokes Masters 2022 | Day Two Preview and Order of Play

The top eight seeds enter the fold at the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters on Saturday as the Second Round action takes centre stage in Milton Keynes.

Night One of the season-opening invitational saw the unseeded hopefuls battle it out at the Marshall Arena, with three players registering ton-plus averages.

The world’s top eight ranked players will now look to hit the ground running as the stakes and format increase on Day Two, with two mouth-watering sessions on the cards.

The afternoon session features a stand-out tie between two-time World Champion Gary Anderson and world number 11 Joe Cullen.

The duo famously contested an epic World Matchplay Quarter-Final in 2018, in which Anderson came out on top in Blackpool 19-17 on his way to taking the title.

Anderson, who was recently married during the month-long break, ended an otherwise below-par season with a resurgent run to the Semi-Finals of the World Championship and was runner-up in this event five years ago.

Cullen, meanwhile, kicked off his campaign with an impressive 6-2 win over Daryl Gurney, averaging 99 in the process, and is now bidding to reach his second Masters Quarter-Final in four appearances.

Michael Smith aims to bounce back from his World Championship final heartbreak this weekend, and the world number five opens up against Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski.

Smith squandered a five sets to four lead in defeat to Peter Wright at Alexandra Palace at the start of the month and comes into the new season still in pursuit of that elusive maiden major.

Smith was also runner-up to Wright in this event two years ago, missing three match darts in an agonising 11-10 defeat.

Ratajski rode his luck in reaching the Last 16, surviving seven missed match darts from Gabriel Clemens on opening night, and will be eyeing a marked improvement on his match average of 88 if he is to test Bully Boy.

The opening match of the afternoon sees Premier League runner-up Jose de Sousa take on two-time European Champion Rob Cross.

Both players are in the conversation for a Premier League pick next week and will be determined to mount a strong run here to improve their chances.

Cross began by defeating Brendan Dolan 6-2 despite an average of just 88, while De Sousa is making only his second Masters appearance, having lost out in Round One 12 months ago.

James Wade, Masters champion back in 2014, starts out against 2016 finalist Dave Chisnall.

Wade, a semi-finalist at the recent World Championship and reigning UK Open champion, has reached the Last Eight in seven of his nine previous appearances in this event.

Chisnall, who whitewashed Stephen Bunting in Round One, also boasts an impressive Masters record and has his sights set on a fourth consecutive Quarter-Final spot.

The evening session sees Jonny Clayton commence the defence of his title with a clash against World Matchplay finalist Dimitri van den Bergh.

Clayton claimed the title on his debut here 12 months ago, a victory which clinched him a Premier League spot and proved to be the catalyst for a  further three televised titles during the year.

The world number eight was denied by Michael Smith in a seventh set epic in the Last 16 of the World Championship and will be keen to bounce back at the first available opportunity.

Van den Bergh produced the stand-out performance of the First Round, averaging 105.3 in a 6-1 rout of Ian White and is out to bolster his hopes of a Premier League return by dethroning the reigning Masters champion.

Michael van Gerwen is a man out to make up for lost ground after being withdrawn from the recent World Championship following a positive Covid test prior to his Third Round contest.

The world number three has won this event on five occasions but went the entire calendar year in 2021 without picking up a major ranked title for the first time in a decade.

MVG starts his season with a show-down against Luke Humphries – who thrashed the Dutchman 11-5 en route to last year’s UK Open final.

Humphries dispatched Devon Petersen 6-1 on Friday to mark a winning debut at The Masters and is also eyeing a title tilt this weekend in order to stake a late claim for a Premier League spot.

World number one Gerwyn Price launches his quest for a first Masters crown with a clash against debutant Ryan Searle.

Price saw his world title defence ended at the Quarter-Final stage by Smith earlier this month, but an otherwise superb season saw him pick up a third Grand Slam title and reach the final of the World Grand Prix.

Semi-finalist here last year, Price faces a formidable opener against last November’s Players Championship Finals runner-up – who began his season with a 6-1 thrashing of two-time finalist Mervyn King.

Peter Wright begins his second reign as PDC World Champion with a tasty tie against a rejuvenated Simon Whitlock.

Wright capped off a memorable season which also saw him win the World Matchplay by regaining the Sid Waddell Trophy and defending his title-winning prize money from two years ago to close the gap on Price at the top of the Order of Merit.

Wright is now looking to replicate what he achieved in 2020 when he backed up the world title by winning The Masters just four weeks later.

Whitlock has once again taken full advantage of a late call-up to an event following Danny Noppert’s withdrawal as he overcame Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2 with a 100 average.

Whitlock went on to reach the Semi-Finals of the 2020 World Grand Prix the last time he was handed a late call-up and will be quietly confident of mounting another charge if he can back up that blistering First Round display.

The action gets under way from 12.45pm GMT, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day Two Schedule

Saturday January 29

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Jose de Sousa v Rob Cross
Gary Anderson v Joe Cullen
Michael Smith v Krzysztof Ratajski
James Wade v Dave Chisnall

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Jonny Clayton v Dimitri van den Bergh
Gerwyn Price v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v Luke Humphries

Whitlock, Van den Bergh and Cullen enjoy flying starts at The 2022 Masters

Simon Whitlock, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Joe Cullen enjoyed eye-catching victories on Day One of the PDC Masters in Milton Keynes on Friday.

Both Van den Bergh and Whitlock bounced back from Last 64 exits at the recent World Championship by averaging above 100 in wins over Ian White and Dirk van Duijvenbode respectively.

Van den Bergh averaged a 105.3 in a clinical 6-1 defeat of White, kicking off the match with a stunning 167 checkout before adding a 108 finish during a dominant display.

The Belgian will now meet reigning champion Jonny Clayton in Saturday’s Second Round, and admitted: “I’m chuffed to get through to the next round and I want to take a lot of confidence from this.

“My last game was at Ally Pally but in that game I didn’t take the little chances and my opponent didn’t miss, and today it went the other way.

“Jonny’s playing amazing darts and I’ll have to play as well as this, if not better, to beat him.”

Whitlock made the most of his call-up to replace Danny Noppert by defeating Van Duijvenbode 6-2 to set up a tasty tie with reigning World Champion Peter Wright.

“I’m over the moon with that performance,” said Whitlock, who missed out on a host of major events last year. “I’ve been working hard over the last month because I know I need a big year.

“I’m feeling confident and Peter won’t be getting easy game, that’s for sure. I can’t wait for it.”

Joe Cullen was also in impressive form, averaging just under 100 in a 6-2 defeat of Daryl Gurney as he moved through to play Gary Anderson in Round Two.

“It’s always difficult coming into a TV tournament after a long lay-off – I’ve had a break but I played well tonight,” said Cullen.

“I had to get on top of Daryl because he’s a confidence player and it was a good performance.

“The game against Gary should be a great spectacle and I’ll be confidence going into it.”

Three-time World Championship quarter-finalist Luke Humphries continued his fine form with a convincing 6-1 win over Devon Petersen, who was a late replacement for Nathan Aspinall.

A near-perfect Masters debut from Humphries sees him advance to the Last 16 – where five-time champion Michael van Gerwen awaits.

“I felt good up there and this was a solid performance – I hit the right doubles at the right times,” said Humphries.

“I feel like I can play a bit better, but I can put that right tomorrow.

“The last time I played Michael at the Marshall Arena, I beat him in the semi-finals of the UK Open. I believe I can beat him, and I feel like I’m in a good place.”

Ryan Searle set up a show-down with world number one Gerwyn Price by seeing off 2020 Masters finalist Mervyn King 6-1 on his debut.

Searle, November’s Players Championship Finals runner-up, took the game’s first three legs without reply before back-to-back checkouts of 118 and 152 secured victory.

“It felt good today and I played a solid game,” said Searle. “I feel like I’ve still got another gear to go but I was good in patches.

“I’ve got nothing to lose tomorrow so hopefully I’ll step on stage and play my best stuff. Gerwyn’s the world number one so it will be hard but I’m looking forward to it.”

Former Masters finalist Dave Chisnall was in ruthless finishing form as he whitewashed an out of sorts Stephen Bunting 6-0 to set up a meeting with James Wade.

Krzysztof Ratajski survived seven missed match darts from Gabriel Clemens across the final two legs of their tight contest before pinning double 16 to progress to face World Championship finalist Michael Smith on Saturday.

European Champion Rob Cross moved through to a meeting with Jose de Sousa by dropping just two legs against Brendan Dolan.


PDC Masters 2022 Day One Results

Friday January 28

First Round

Krzysztof Ratajski 6-5 Gabriel Clemens
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Stephen Bunting
Ryan Searle 6-1 Mervyn King
Rob Cross 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-1 Ian White
Joe Cullen 6-2 Daryl Gurney
Dirk van Duijvenbode 2-6 Simon Whitlock
Devon Petersen 1-6 Luke Humphries

Ladbrokes Masters 2022 | Day One Preview and Order of Play

The new PDC season officially commences on Friday with the opening round of The Masters taking place in Milton Keynes.

The £220,000 invitational features 24 of the world’s top players competing over three days at the Marshall Arena for the season’s first silverware.

Players ranked 9-24 will start out in the First Round, while players ranked 1-8 will enter the tournament at the Second Round stage on Saturday.

Former Masters finalist Mervyn King kicks off his campaign against Players Championship Finals runner-up Ryan Searle – one of four debutants in this year’s Masters.

A breakthrough 2021 saw Searle enter the world’s top 16 for the first time, while King began the year by reaching his second Masters final, only to lose out to Jonny Clayton.

Two-time major champion Daryl Gurney opens up against multiple European Tour event winner Joe Cullen in one of the stand-out ties of the First Round.

Gurney heads into the new season ranked 22nd in the PDC Order of Merit, having failed to qualify for the European Championship and Grand Slam in a barren 2o21, while Cullen picked up two Players Championship titles and reached the Semi-Finals of the European Championship.

World number nine Dimitri Van den Bergh is the highest ranked player in First Round action and he starts out against world number 24 Ian White – who has never won a match in this event in seven previous attempts.

Van den Bergh, who recently became a father for the first time, reached the final of last year’s World Matchplay but struggled for form towards the end of the season, culminating in a shock Last 64 exit at the World Championship.

Two-time European Champion Rob Cross looks to start the season on a high by dispatching Brendan Dolan – who is making his first appearance in The Masters since 2015.

The opening match of the tournament sees World Matchplay semi-finalist Krzysztof Ratajski take on debutant Gabriel Clemens with both looking to bounce back from disappointing World Championship campaigns last month.

Dave Chisnall, Masters runner-up in 2016, faces an all St Helens clash with Stephen Bunting – semi-finalist in last October’s World Grand Prix.

Former World Grand Prix finalist Dirk van Duijvenbode marks his Masters debut with a clash against former European Champion Simon Whitlock – who was handed an unexpected call-up to the event after Danny Noppert’s withdrawal.

Devon Petersen also aims to take full advantage of a late call-up in place of the injured Nathan Aspinall when he faces UK Open finalist Luke Humphries in the final match of the night.

The action gets under way from 7pm GMT, with First Round matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day One Schedule

Friday January 28

First Round

7.15pm Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
7.45pm Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
8.15pm Ryan Searle v Mervyn King
8.45pm Rob Cross v Brendan Dolan
9.15pm Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ian White
9.45pm Joe Cullen v Daryl Gurney
10.15pm Dirk van Duijvenbode v Simon Whitlock
10.45pm Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries

Nathan Aspinall withdraws from the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters

Nathan Aspinall has withdrawn from the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters and will be replaced by Devon Petersen.

Aspinall has been suffering with an ongoing problem in both the elbow and wrist of his throwing arm in recent months and competed in December’s World Championship wearing medical tape.

The former UK Open champion has now withdrawn from this weekend’s Masters in order to undergo further treatment on the injury.

South Africa’s Petersen takes Aspinall’s place in the draw as the next ranked non-qualified player and will face Luke Humphries in Friday night’s opening round.

A statement released by Aspinall said: ‘As you may not be aware, during the European Championship last year, Nathan felt what can only be described as a ‘pop’ in his right arm.

‘Not thinking much of it, as he has had slight niggles in the past, he carried on. However, over the proceeding month the pain increased dramatically so he sought professional advice and was diagnosed with Acute Tendinitis accompanied with Tennis Elbow.

‘Thankfully, his treatment for tennis elbow has been successful, however the tendinitis, despite rest as advised, is still causing discomfort and after seeing the specialist he has been advised to unfortunately withdraw from The Masters this weekend.

‘Nathan is undergoing further treatment this week and whilst no player likes to withdraw from any event, the focus has to be to get fit and ready for the busy year ahead.’ 

The 2022 Masters takes place from January 28-30 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and will feature 24 players competing for the season’s first televised silverware.

Players ranked 9-24 will start out in the First Round, while players ranked 1-8 will enter the tournament at the Second Round stage on Saturday January 29.

The event concludes on Sunday January 30 with the Quarter-Finals in the afternoon session and the Semi-Finals and final in the evening.


Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Draw

Friday January 28

First Round

Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
Ryan Searle v Mervyn King
Rob Cross v Brendan Dolan
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ian White
Joe Cullen v Daryl Gurney
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Simon Whitlock
Devon Petersen v Luke Humphries

Saturday January 29

Second Round

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Jose de Sousa v Cross/Dolan
Gary Anderson v Cullen/Gurney
Michael Smith v Ratajski/Clemens
James Wade v Chisnall/Bunting

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Jonny Clayton v Van den Bergh/White
Gerwyn Price v Searle/King
Peter Wright v Van Duijvenbode/Whitlock
Michael van Gerwen v Petersen/Humphries

Sunday January 30

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)


Evening Session (7pm-11pm)