Phil Taylor will play Stoke rival Andy Hamilton in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters on Thursday, with the draw for the $250,000 throwing up four tasty Quarter-Finals.

Dubai Darts Masters

The Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters Trophy

The inaugural tournament will be held at the Dubai Tennis Centre on a specially-built outdoor stage, as players compete over two days for the $50,000 first prize.

World Champion Taylor, the world number one, has drawn Stoke’s Andy Hamilton for Thursday’s Quarter-Finals, in a repeat of the 2008 Grand Slam of Darts final between the pair.

Hamilton’s victory over Taylor in the McCoy’s Premier League Darts earlier this year gives added spice to the contest, while Taylor is looking to bounce back from his defeat in the Premier League’s final last Thursday.

Michael van Gerwen, the Dutch star who won the Premier League last week and also took victory in the European Darts Open on Sunday, has drawn European Championship finalist Wes Newton for their opening fixture in the event.

Number two seed Adrian Lewis, the two-time World Champion, takes on five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld in the first round, with the pair having enjoyed many thrilling clashes on stage previously – notably when Lewis landed a nine-dart finish in the 2011 European Championship semi-finals.

Seven-time major winner James Wade, the number three seed, will play Australian Simon Whitlock, the reigning European Champion, in the opening Quarter-Final clash.

“The Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters has promised to be great tournament since we announced the event in January, but this draw has given an added sense of excitement,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

“There’s a huge buzz around the city ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters and that is shared by the players, who have received a great reception in Dubai.

“The tournament itself will enjoy a global reach, with coverage live across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia, giving millions of viewers around the world the chance to see the very best players in the sport.

Hearn added: “This is the first event of the World Series of Darts, and it’s fitting that we’ve come to Dubai, the centrepiece of sporting action in this part of the world.

“We’re expecting big and lively crowds and some fabulous darts. I believe we’re doing to see something very special over the next few days.”

Taylor, the 16-time World Champion, said: “I’m really excited and looking forward to the tournament.

“We’ve all had a chance to settle in over here and see the venue, which is a wonderful arena. Now that I’ve drawn Andy, I’ll prepare to face him and I know how big a challenge he will provide.

“All of the player here, though, are world class and it wouldn’t have mattered who I drew because it would be a tough match. The eventual champion will thoroughly deserve to lift the trophy on Friday night – it’s going to be a great tournament.”

Colm McLoughlin, the Executive Vice-Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We started our tennis tournament here 21 years ago and it has really grown in that time, and I visualise the same thing happening to the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters tournament.

“I look foward to seeing it grow and grow, as other events we have been involved in have done. I’m very happy we’re involved in this tournament and to welcome the Professional Darts Corporation and the players to Dubai.”

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters – costing AED199 per day, AED299 for two-day and AED495 for two-day VIP tickets – are still available through Irish Village (www.irishvillage.ae) and Timeout Tickets (www.itp.net/tickets).

Corporate Hospitality tables, which include all food and beverages, are on sale through One Events (www.iuae.ae) or Radar (www.radar-world.com).

The Dubai Darts Masters will be screened live across the Middle East on OSN.

The PDC are delighted to confirm that Eurosport across Europe and Scandinavia will also be broadcasting the event live, with coverage also live on Fox Sports in Australia and Asia, Ten Action in India and online through www.LIVEPDC.TV for all subscribers.

UK TV viewers will be able to see highlights of the Quarter-Finals at 11.15pm (BST) on Thursday and live coverage of Friday’s Semi-Finals & Final (5pm BST).

Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters Draw & Schedule

Thursday May 23 (8pm local time, 5pm BST)

Quarter-Finals

James Wade (3) v Simon Whitlock

Adrian Lewis (2) v Raymond van Barneveld

Michael van Gerwen (4) v Wes Newton

Phil Taylor (1) v Andy Hamilton

Best of 19 legs, first to ten.

Friday May 24

Semi-Finals (8pm local time, 5pm BST)

van Gerwen/Newton v Taylor/Hamilton

Wade/Whitlock v Lewis/van Barneveld

Best of 21 legs, first to 11.

Final

Best of 21 legs, first to 11.

 

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