PETER Wright will begin the defence of his Betfred World Matchplay title against Madars Razma, with the draw confirmed for the summer’s biggest darts event.
Wright, who won the prestigious tournament in emphatic style 12 months ago, will begin his quest to become the fourth player to retain the title against Latvia’s Madars Razma, one of four debutants in the 32-player field.
Taking place from July 16-24 at Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens, the first round sees the world’s top 16 players seeded and pitted against the 16 qualifiers from the one-year ProTour Order of Merit.
Two-time champion Michael van Gerwen will face 2013 runner-up Adrian Lewis in a mouth-watering battle between two of the sport’s biggest names.
A further four former champions are among the field; James Wade meets debutant Martin Lukeman, Gary Anderson faces Daryl Gurney, Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on Callan Rydz and Rob Cross plays Chris Dobey.
World number two Gerwyn Price begins his bid for a first World Matchplay crown against German debutant Martin Schindler, while 2019 runner-up Michael Smith goes up against Andrew Gilding.
Luke Humphries, a winner of five ranking events in 2022, will play two-time TV champion Nathan Aspinall in on one of the first round’s most eye-catching ties.
Premier League runner-up Joe Cullen will face Australia’s history-making World Cup winner Damon Heta, while Dirk van Duijvenbode will play Ryan Searle in a battle of 2022 ranking event winners.
The tournament will see players compete across nine days of action for £800,000 in prize money, with the winner taking home £200,000 and the coveted 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 16-18.
This year’s visit to the Winter Gardens also features the Betfred Women’s World Matchplay, which will see eight players competing on Sunday, July 24.
The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding UK, Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).
2022 Betfred World Matchplay
(1) Peter Wright v Madars Razma
(16) Krzysztof Ratajski v Stephen Bunting
(8) Jonny Clayton v Rowby-John Rodriguez
(9) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Callan Rydz
(4) Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
(13) Joe Cullen v Damon Heta
(5) James Wade v Martin Lukeman
(12) Luke Humphries v Nathan Aspinall
(2) Gerwyn Price v Martin Schindler
(15) Dave Chisnall v Kim Huybrechts
(7) Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens
(10) Rob Cross v Chris Dobey
(3) Michael Smith v Andrew Gilding
(14) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Ryan Searle
(6) Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney
(11) Danny Noppert v Brendan Dolan
Images: L Lustig (PDC)
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