Michael van Gerwen to open Unibet Masters title bid against Simon Whitlock
By Sky Sports Darts
Last Updated: 16/01/17 6:54am
Newly-crowned world champion Michael van Gerwen will begin his bid to win a third successive Unibet Masters title against Simon Whitlock this weekend.
The fifth staging of the tournament will see the world's top 16 players face off from January 27-29 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes.
The tournament will open on Friday January 27, with inaugural champion Phil Taylor taking on former World Youth champion Michael Smith in one of four first-round matches.
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson plays Benito van de Pas, world No 3 Peter Wright takes on Ian White and 2016 finalist Dave Chisnall faces 2015 runner-up Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Gerwen, the top seed and world No 1, opens his challenge against Australia's Whitlock, the world No 16, in one of Saturday's final four first-round games.
The 2014 champion James Wade takes on boarders thrower Robert Thornton, with world No 4 Adrian Lewis up against Belgium's Kim Huybrechts and Austria's Mensur Suljovic making his Masters debut when he faces Dutchman Jelle Klaasen.
Sunday afternoon then sees the four quarter-finals held before the tournament concludes on Sunday evening with the semi-finals and final.
2017 Unibet Masters
Schedule of Play
Friday January 27 (7pm)
Dave Chisnall (7) v Raymond van Barneveld (10)
Phil Taylor (6) v Michael Smith (11)
Gary Anderson (2) v Benito van de Pas (15)
Peter Wright (3) v Ian White (14)
Saturday January 28 (7pm)
Mensur Suljovic (8) v Jelle Klaasen (9)
James Wade (5) v Robert Thornton (12)
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Simon Whitlock (16)
Adrian Lewis (4) v Kim Huybrechts (13)
Sunday January 29
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Taylor (6)/Smith (11) v Wright (3)/White (14)
Anderson (2)/Van de Pas (15) v Chisnall (7)/Van Barneveld (10)
Wade (5)/Thornton (12) v Lewis (4)/Huybrechts (13)
Van Gerwen (1)/Whitlock (16) v Suljovic (8)/Klaasen (9)
Evening Session (7pm)
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