Draw released for 2021 World Matchplay: Defending champion Van den Bergh to face Petersen in opening round

The draw has been released ahead of the World Matchplay which is set to return to it's spiritual home of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool between 17-25.

Defending champion will be Dimitri van den Bergh who will begin his title defence in front of the Winter Gardens crowd against Devon Petersen in a battle of the dancing duo with the walk-ons set to provide a spectacle.

Gerwyn Price will return in front of fans after his withdrawal from the Premier League due to a positive Covid test and will take on Jermaine Wattimena.

In his quarter, an intriguing battle awaits between Jonny Clayton and Dirk van Duijvenbode with a potential meeting between World Cup teammates set.

While, Dave Chisnall will face Vincent van der Voort in what is bound to be a rapid fire encounter.

Michael van Gerwen will be not seeded in the top two for the first time since 2012 and has been handed Damon Heta as his opening round opponent.

Also in his quarter include the ties between Daryl Gurney and Ian White. As well as rival Gary Anderson facing Stephen Bunting and Nathan Aspinall taking on Mervyn King.

Second seed, Peter Wright will take on the in-form Danny Noppert with a tie against Joe Cullen or Chris Dobey awaiting.

Also in Wright's quarter includes Michael Smith facing Ryan Searle and Jose de Sousa who many see as an outside favourite due to his form facing fellow high flier, Gabriel Clemens.

James Wade will repeat his UK Open final against Luke Humphries, while also in his section, Krzysztof Ratajski will face Brendan Dolan.

Former champion, Rob Cross will face recent first time ProTour winner, Ross Smith. While Glen Durrant will aim to return to form against fellow North East ace, Callan Rydz who like many in the field is set for a World Matchplay debut.

2021 World Matchplay Draw

Gerwyn Price (1) v Jermaine Wattimena (N.B Suljovic out for medical reasons)

Jonny Clayton (16) v Dirk van Duijvenbode

Dimitri van den Bergh (8) v Devon Petersen

Dave Chisnall (9) v Vincent van der Voort

James Wade (4) v Luke Humphries

Rob Cross (5) v Ross Smith

Krzysztof Ratajski (13) v Brendan Dolan

Glen Durrant (12) v Callan Rydz

Peter Wright (2) v Danny Noppert

Joe Cullen (15) v Chris Dobey

Michael Smith (7) v Ryan Searle

José de Sousa (10) v Gabriel Clemens

Gary Anderson (6) v Stephen Bunting

Nathan Aspinall (1) v Mervyn King

Michael van Gerwen (3) v Damon Heta

Daryl Gurney (14) v Ian White

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