Draw confirmed for World Matchplay's return to Blackpool's Winter Gardens

Dimitri van den Bergh will begin the defence of his Betfred World Matchplay title against Devon Petersen, with the draw confirmed for the biggest darts event of the summer.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 2:46 pm

Van den Bergh, who sensationally won the historic tournament on debut in 2020 in Milton Keynes, will walk onto Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens stage for the first time to take on South Africa’s Petersen, one of seven debutants in the 32-player field.

The top 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit are seeded for the event and have each been drawn to play one of the 16 qualifiers from the one-year ProTour Order of Merit.

World champion and number one seed Gerwyn Price will begin his bid for a first World Matchplay title against 2018 runner-up Mensur Suljovic as the tournament returns to Blackpool from July 17-25.

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Dimitri van den Bergh defends his Betfred World Matchplay title at the Winter Gardens Picture: PDC

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Two-time winner Michael van Gerwen will face Australian debutant Damon Heta, while number two seed Peter Wright takes on Dutchman Danny Noppert.

One of the standout first round ties will see 2007 champion James Wade play Luke Humphries in a repeat of this year’s UK Open final, while the field’s two other previous winners, Rob Cross and Gary Anderson, have been drawn against Ross Smith and Stephen Bunting respectively.

Premier League champion Jonny Clayton takes on Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode, while Nathan Aspinall meets Masters finalist Mervyn King and two-time World Matchplay semi-finalist Glen Durrant plays rising star Callan Rydz.

The tournament will see players compete across nine days of action for £700,000 in prize money, with the winner to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy.

The schedule of play will be confirmed in due course, with the first round being played across the first three days from July 17-19.

A limited number of tickets remain available for some sessions of the Betfred World Matchplay via pdc.seetickets.com with the tournament broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK.

2021 Betfred World Matchplay draw (seeding in brackets): (1) Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic, (16) Jonny Clayton v Dirk van Duijvenbode, (8) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Devon Petersen, (9) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort, (4) James Wade v Luke Humphries, (13) Krzysztof Ratajski v Brendan Dolan, (5) Rob Cross v Ross Smith, (12) Glen Durrant v Callan Rydz, (2) Peter Wright v Danny Noppert, (15) Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey, (7) Michael Smith v Ryan Searle, (10) Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens, (3) Michael van Gerwen v Damon Heta, (14) Daryl Gurney v Ian White, (6) Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting, (11) Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King.

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