The 26th edition of the World Matchplay starts on Saturday July 20. Only three former winners will try to win the tournament in Blackpool again.

Phil Taylor, 16-time winner of the World Matchplay and the reigning champion, is not taking part for a second successive year. The same applies to former winners Larry Butler (1994), Peter Evison (1996), Rod Harrington (1998, 1999) and Colin Lloyd (2005).

Michael van Gerwen will try to add a third overall victory to his roll of honour. The world number one triumphed in 2015 and 2016, while in 2014 he lost in the final. Van Gerwen was eliminated by Jeffrey de Zwaan in the first round last year.

James Wade is the second former World Matchplay champion in the field of 32 players. ‘The Machine’ was crowned champion in 2007, after being too strong for Terry Jenkins in the final. The last participating champion is defending champion Gary Anderson, who defeated Mensur Suljovic in the final last year.

Roll of Honour World Matchplay (1994-2018)

1994 Larry Butler (1)
1995 Phil Taylor (1)
1996 Peter Evison (1)
1997 Phil Taylor (2)
1998 Rod Harrington (1)
1999 Rod Harrington (2)
2000 Phil Taylor (3)
2001 Phil Taylor (4)
2002 Phil Taylor (5)
2003 Phil Taylor (6)
2004 Phil Taylor (7)
2005 Colin Lloyd (1)
2006 Phil Taylor (8)
2007 James Wade (1)
2008 Phil Taylor (9)
2009 Phil Taylor (10)
2010 Phil Taylor (11)
2011 Phil Taylor (12)
2012 Phil Taylor (13)
2013 Phil Taylor (14)
2014 Phil Taylor (15)
2015 Michael van Gerwen (1)
2016 Michael van Gerwen (2)
2017 Phil Taylor (16)
2018 Gary Anderson (1)

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Pieter