Schedule revealed for World Darts Championship: Reigning champion to feature on opening night

Peter Wright will feature on the opening night of the 2021 World Darts Championship as he takes to the stage against either Steve West or Amit Gilitwala.

As has become tradition, the defending champion will be in action in the first session, with his potential opponents meeting in the first match of the tournament.

The pre-Christmas schedule was announced today, which involves the first and second rounds. The last 32 gets underway on Sunday, December 27.

Elsewhere on 15 December, Steve Beaton takes on Diogo Portela and Jeff Smith plays Keane Barry in one of the picks of the first round.

There are double sessions for the next five days as Wednesday features a selection of five players from the north-east of England.

Ryan Joyce, Chris Dobey, Callan Rydz, Adam Hunt and Glen Durrant are all in action on day two, with Hunt taking on Lisa Ashton in a game that will have plenty of eyes on it.

On day three, Ryan Murray meets Lourence Ilagan and Ron Meulenkamp takes on in-form Croatian Boris Krčmar, with Daryl Gurney and José de Sousa the seeds in last-64 action.

Friday, December 18 sees a fascinating evening session which kicks off with Dirk van Duijvenbode against Bradley Brooks and also features Luke Humphries against Paul Lim.

John Henderson will also take to the Alexandra Palace stage, with James Wade in round two action.

Experienced trio Scott Waites, Kim Huybrechts and Mervyn King all play on the first Saturday afternoon before Michael van Gerwen begins his campaign in the evening.

Elsewhere in that session, Deta Hedman takes on Andy Boulton and Damon Heta plays Danny Baggish in what is arguably the tie of the first round.

Three Dutchman begin their World Championships on the afternoon of Sunday 20th in the form of Derk Telnekes, Maik Kuivenhoven and Vincent van der Voort.

The final round one games are played that evening as debutant Cameron Carolissen faces a daunting prospect against Martijn Kleermaker and Keegan Brown meets Ryan Meikle.

Jeffrey de Zwaan and Gary Anderson are in action following that as they look to salvage injury-affected years.

From there, the tournament really ramps up with a seed involved in every match. Krzysztof Ratajski, Ian White, Gerwyn Price and Gabriel Clemens all open their accounts in a mouth-watering Monday evening session.

The next afternoon, Joe Cullen looks to improve his desperate World Championship record against Wayne Jones or Ciaran Teehan, with in-form Simon Whitlock also in action.

Later that day, there’s another fantastic line-up with Danny Noppert, Devon Petersen, Rob Cross and Dimitri Van den Bergh playing their first matches.

The final day before the Christmas break sees a potential clash of styles between Ricky Evans and Mickey Mansell open things up as Jonny Clayton, Stephen Bunting and Mensur Suljović also get going.

There’s a session with three-top 10 players involved to wrap up the second round, namely Dave Chisnall, Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith.

The sessions will start at 12pm and 6pm GMT, believed to be due to restrictions on selling food and drink. As a result, there will be no tie-breaks this year.


Schedule of Play
Tuesday, December 15 (1800 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Steve West v Amit Gilitwala (R1)
Steve Beaton v Diogo Portela (R1)
Jeff Smith v Keane Barry (R1)
Peter Wright v West/Gilitwala (R2)

Wednesday, December 16
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ryan Joyce v Karel Sedláček (R1)
Ross Smith v David Evans (R1)
William O’Connor v Niels Zonneveld (R1)
Chris Dobey v J Smith/Barry (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Max Hopp v Gordon Mathers (R1)
Callan Rydz v James Bailey (R1)
Adam Hunt v Lisa Ashton (R1)
Glen Durrant v Beaton/Portela (R2)

Thursday, December 17
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Madars Razma v Toru Suzuki (R1)
Mike De Decker v Edward Foulkes (R1)
Ryan Murray v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
Daryl Gurney v O’Connor/Zonneveld (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Luke Woodhouse v Jamie Lewis (R1)
Ron Meulenkamp v Boris Krčmar (R1)
Ryan Searle v Danny Lauby (R1)
Jose de Sousa v R Smith/D Evans (R2)

Friday, December 18
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Mickey Mansell v Haupai Puha (R1)
Darius Labanauskas v Chengan Liu (R1)
Wayne Jones v Ciaran Teehan (R1)
Jamie Hughes v Hunt/Ashton (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Bradley Brooks (R1)
John Henderson v Marko Kantele (R1)
Luke Humphries v Paul Lim (R1)
James Wade v Rydz/Bailey (R2)

Saturday, December 19
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Steve Lennon v Daniel Larsson (R1)
Scott Waites v Matt Campbell (R1)
Kim Huybrechts v Di Zhuang (R1)
Mervyn King v Hopp/Mathers (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Andy Hamilton v Nico Kurz (R1)
Andy Boulton v Deta Hedman (R1)
Damon Heta v Danny Baggish (R1)
Michael van Gerwen v Murray/Ilagan (R2)

Sunday, December 20
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Derk Telnekes v Nick Kenny (R1)
Jason Lowe v Dmitriy Gorbunov (R1)
Maik Kuivenhoven v Matthew Edgar (R1)
Vincent van der Voort v Meulenkamp/Krčmar (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round
Martijn Kleermaker v Cameron Carolissen (R1)
Keegan Brown v Ryan Meikle (R1)
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Searle/Lauby (R2)
Gary Anderson v Razma/Suzuki (R2)

Monday, December 21 (1800 GMT)
4x Second Round
Krzysztof Ratajski v Joyce/Sedláček (R2)
Ian White v Huybrechts/Zhuang (R2)
Gerwyn Price v Woodhouse/J Lewis (R2)
Gabriel Clemens v Hamilton/Kurz (R2)

Tuesday, December 22
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

4x Second Round
Brendan Dolan v De Decker/Foulkes (R2)
Joe Cullen v Jones/Teehan (R2)
Simon Whitlock v Labanauskas/Liu (R2)
Adrian Lewis v Heta/Baggish (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
4x Second Round
Danny Noppert v Kleermaker/Carolissen (R2)
Devon Petersen v Lennon/Larsson (R2)
Rob Cross v Van Duijvenbode/Brooks (R2)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Humphries/Lim (R2)

Wednesday, December 23
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

4x Second Round
Ricky Evans v Mansell/Puha (R2)
Jonny Clayton v Henderson/Kantele (R2)
Stephen Bunting v Boulton/Hedman (R2)
Mensur Suljović v Kuivenhoven/Edgar (R2)

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
4x Second Round
Dave Chisnall v Brown/Meikle (R2)
Jermaine Wattimena v Telnekes/Kenny (R2)
Nathan Aspinall v Waites/Campbell (R2)
Michael Smith v Lowe/Gorbunov (R2)

Sunday, December 27
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x Third Round

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x Third Round

Monday, December 28
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x Third Round

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x Third Round

Tuesday, December 29
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x Third Round

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round

Wednesday, December 30
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

3x Fourth Round

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Friday, January 1
Afternoon Session (1200 GMT)

2x Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1800 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Saturday, January 2 (1800 GMT)

Sunday, January 3 (1930 GMT)

First Round – Best of five sets
Second Round – Best of five sets
Third Round – Best of seven sets
Fourth Round – Best of seven sets
Quarter-Finals – Best of nine sets
Semi-Finals – Best of 11 sets
Final – Best of 13 sets

by Jamie Cameron

(Featured Image: Chris Sargeant)

About The Author

Jamie Cameron @wwfcofficial and darts. Write for @the92blog and @TheMaximum180.

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