Schedule for Day One at 2021 World Matchplay including Price and defending champion Van den Bergh
Fans return to the Winter Gardens as the World Matchplay, arguably one part of a darting Triple Crown alongside the World Championship and UK Open, kicks off in Blackpool.
We start things off with a repeat of a 2020 World Matchplay encounter. A year ago, Vincent van der Voort toppled Dave Chisnall 10-6 en route to the quarter-finals. The Dutchman will be out to do the same again while Chizzy, whose 2021 form is yet to get going, bids to avoid three successive first round exits.
In 2020, Jonny Clayton took a 10-3 hiding at the hands of Michael Smith, marking three Winter Gardens appearances and three defeats. Since that time, the Ferret has won the World Cup of Darts, the Masters and the Premier League, and is one of the favourites for the prestigious title. Dirk van Duijvenbode has also enjoyed a breakout 12 months, but his more recent Super Series showing haven't hit the same heights as previously.
It's good to see the world champion back after an enforced absence from the Premier League. Gerwyn Price has a score to settle with the Winter Gardens; his Matchplay form is surprisingly poor, with four straight first-round exits and nothing better than a quarter-final in his debut visit. Last year, he underperformed badly against Danny Noppert. In 2021, another Dutchman in Jermaine Wattimena hopes to compound Price's Matchplay misery, as he pinch-hits for the sadly absent Mensur Suljovic.
Dimitri van den Bergh
We end with Dimitri van den Bergh, the reigning World Matchplay champion. Now in the major winner's circle, the affable Belgian is out to become just the fourth player to successfully defend the crown after Rod Harrington, Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. His first challenge is to see off Devon Petersen, who finally completes the full set of appearances at PDC majors. A win here would give the South African a timely morale boost, and a second round tie against the winner of the night's first match.
Schedule 2021 World Matchplay
Saturday July 17 (1900 BST)
4x First Round
19:10 Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
20:10 Jonny Clayton v Dirk van Duijvenbode
21:10 Gerwyn Price v Jermaine Wattimena
22:10 Dimitri Van den Bergh v Devon Petersen