Betfair World Matchplay – Taylor To Face King In First Round


Read the DartsMad World Matchplay preview here.

Phil Taylor will begin his bid for a record-equalling fifth successive Betfair World Matchplay title, and a 13th victory in total in the Blackpool event, against Mervyn King at the Winter Gardens later this month.

Taylor, who has been the champion of the £400,000 event for the past four years, is bidding to equal his unbeaten run from 2000-2004 when he returns to Blackpool, but will play King in a tasty first round contest.

Although King has dropped out of the world’s top 16 this year, the Norfolk thrower reached the semi-finals of the European Darts Open event in Dusseldorf on Sunday night to show his return to top form.

2007 World Matchplay winner James Wade, who lost 18-8 to Taylor in last year’s final, will play resurgent Welshman Richie Burnett in the first round, while Colin Lloyd – the 2005 champion who is the only other previous winner in the 32-man field – takes on number nine seed Mark Webster.

World Champion Adrian Lewis, the number two seed, has drawn recent Speedy Services UK Open champion Robert Thornton in the first round, while world number four Gary Anderson plays PDC newcomer Dean Winstanley, who only joined the PDC circuit in January.

Wes Newton, the number five seed, drew emerging teenage star James Hubbard in the first round, with the PDC Unicorn World Youth Champion having secured qualification for the World Matchplay by reaching the quarter-finals of the European Darts Open on Sunday – an achievement which left him in tears of joy on the Dusseldorf stage.

European Darts Open winner Raymond van Barneveld meets another debutant, Michael Smith, while in-form Dave Chisnall – who has reached two successive European Tour finals – takes on Blackpool favourite Ronnie Baxter, the 1998 runner-up.

Number six seed Simon Whitlock faces Michael van Gerwen, World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton plays Brendan Dolan, two-time World Matchplay finalist Terry Jenkins drew Belgian debutant Kim Huybrechts and Kevin Painter meets Steve Beaton.

World number 12 Justin Pipe takes on another young star Joe Cullen, while Mark Walsh plays Colin Osborne, who won his place in the World Matchplay by reaching the quarter-finals, alongside Hubbard, in Dusseldorf.

Paul Nicholson meets Andy Smith, and number 16 seed Vincent van der Voort drew Stoke’s Ian White, who is another new face on the Blackpool stage.

The Betfair World Matchplay will be played from July 21-29 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, and will be screened live on Sky Sports HD.

Tickets are still available by calling the Winter Gardens Box Office on 0844 856 1111 or by visiting

The PDC expect to be able to confirm the schedule of play on Tuesday.

Betfair World Matchplay
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket

Adrian Lewis (2) v Robert Thornton
Paul Nicholson (15) v Andy Smith
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Michael Smith
Terry Jenkins (10) v Kim Huybrechts
Simon Whitlock (6) v Michael van Gerwen
Kevin Painter (11) v Steve Beaton
James Wade (3) v Richie Burnett
Mark Walsh (14) v Colin Osborne
Phil Taylor (1) v Mervyn King
Vincent van der Voort (16) v Ian White
Andy Hamilton (8) v Brendan Dolan
Mark Webster (9) v Colin Lloyd
Wes Newton (5) v James Hubbard
Justin Pipe (12) v Joe Cullen
Gary Anderson (4) v Dean Winstanley
Dave Chisnall (13) v Ronnie Baxter

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