Taylor aims for continue Matchplay domination

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor
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Phil Taylor will begin his bid for a 14th BetVictor World Matchplay darts title against Stuart Kellett at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Defending champion and world no.1 Taylor, bidding for a sixth straight title in Blackpool, faces the debutant from Cheshire on Sunday week, the second night of the tournament.

Kellett, this year’s UK Masters runner-up, is one of the 16 qualifiers from the Pro-Tour Order of Merit who join the top 16 in the Professional Darts Corporation world rankings to compete for the £100,000 first prize in this nine-day event.

Bookies’ favourite Michael van Gerwen faces 2005 winner Colin Lloyd in the best-of-19-leg first round.

The opening round is spread over three nights, the last of which sees Fylde coast favourites Wes Newton and Ronnie Baxter take to the oche.

Fleetwood’s Newton, the seventh seed who hit a nine-darter at last year’s World Matchplay, takes on in-form Jamie Caven on Monday , July 22, while Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter plays world no.6 Andy Hamilton on the same day.

Another eyecatching first-round tie is between world no.4 James Wade, the last person before Taylor to win this title in 2007, and two-time finalist John Part.

The second round will be played across two evenings, on Tuesday July 23 and Wednesday July 24, with the quarter-finals then taking place on the Thursday and Friday.

The semi-finals will be held on Saturday July 27, with the 20th World Matchplay winner being crowned in the final on Sunday July 28. Tickets, priced £20-£50 are available via 0844 856 1111 or www.blackpoollive.co.uk

First round draw

Saturday July 20 (7pm-11pm): Terry Jenkins v Andy Smith, Raymond van Barneveld v Mensur Suljovic, James Wade v John Part, Simon Whitlock v Jelle Klaasen

Sunday July 21

1pm-5pm: Justin Pipe v Mark Webster, Kevin Painter v Jamie Lewis, Kim Huybrechts v Peter Wright, Brendan Dolan v Steve Beaton

7pm-11pm: Mervyn King v Gary Anderson, Dave Chisnall v Paul Nicholson, Phil Taylor v Stuart Kellett, Michael van Gerwen v Colin Lloyd

Monday July 22

7pm-11pm: Robert Thornton v Ian White, Wes Newton v Jamie Caven, Adrian Lewis v Ronny Huybrechts, Andy Hamilton v Ronnie Baxter

Second Round

Tuesday July 23 (7pm-midnight): Van Barneveld/Suljovic v Pipe/Webster, Whitlock/Klaasen v Painter/J Lewis , Taylor/Kellett v Jenkins/Smith, Wade/Part v King/Anderson

Wednesday July 24 (7pm-midnight): Hamilton/Baxter v Thornton/White, A Lewis/R Huybrechts v Dolan/Beaton, Van Gerwen/Lloyd v K Huybrechts/Wright, Newton/Caven v Chisnall/Nicholson