Jamie Hughes one of seven debutants at Betfred World Matchplay
Last Updated: 01/07/19 2:33pm
Czech Darts Open winner Jamie Hughes will be one of seven debutants at next month's Betfred World Matchplay in Blackpool.
Hughes put together a remarkable run to the title in Prague last week as he beat top-16 players Adrian Lewis, Ron Meulenkamp, Ian White and Simon Whitlock on his way to the final before overcoming Stephen Bunting 8-3 to claim a first full PDC title.
World champion Michael van Gerwen will be the top seed as he seeks to claim a third World Matchplay title, while reigning champion Gary Anderson is the four seed.
Hughes was not the only player to secure his place at Winter Gardens during last week's tournament in Prague.
Former World Youth champion Keegan Brown's run to the semi-finals saw him claim a qualification spot at the expense of Australia's Kyle Anderson, while former quarter-finalist Vincent van der Voort held on to his spot.
The other six Blackpool debutants are headlined by 2019 UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, who makes his maiden World Matchplay appearance as the No 13 seed following his superb rise up the rankings.
Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski and English duo Ricky Evans and Glen Durrant were the three leading ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers as they secured their Blackpool places.
Durrant's qualification is another fine achievement given he - like Hughes - began 2019 on £0 in the rankings after moving onto the PDC circuit - but the Lakeside champion has won two Players Championship titles and reached one other final so far this year.
Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert are the other players set to take to the Winter Gardens stage for the first time in this year's event as a result of their form on the ProTour in the past 12 months.
Sandwiched between Van Gerwen and Anderson in the top 16, 2018 world champion Rob Cross is seeded second and 2018 Players Championship Finals winner Daryl Gurney the third seed.
World Championship finalist Michael Smith will be seeded fifth, with 2017 World Matchplay finalist Peter Wright the sixth seed and Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price the No 7 seed.
James Wade, the 2007 World Matchplay winner, is seeded eighth, while Mensur Suljovic - the 2018 runner-up following an epic final with Anderson - the ninth seed.
Ian White, Simon Whitlock, Dave Chisnall, Jonny Clayton, Darren Webster and 2013 finalist Lewis join Aspinall as the remaining seeded players for the draw.
Jeffrey de Zwaan, who reached the semi-finals in 2018, and quarter-finalist Joe Cullen return to Blackpool as ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers, alongside veteran star Steve Beaton - who will be making his 20th World Matchplay appearance.
Czech Darts Open finalist Bunting will head to Blackpool in confident mood, while the remaining qualifiers included former semi-finalist Mervyn King, Dutch World Cup player Jermaine Wattimena and 2019 Premier League contenders Max Hopp and John Henderson.
2019 Betfred World Matchplay Field
PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers (seeded for first round draw)
1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Daryl Gurney
4 Gary Anderson
5 Michael Smith
6 Peter Wright
7 Gerwyn Price
8 James Wade
9 Mensur Suljovic
10 Ian White
11 Simon Whitlock
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Nathan Aspinall
14 Jonny Clayton
15 Darren Webster
16 Adrian Lewis
ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Vincent van der Voort
You don't have to wait long until darts is back on Sky Sports, with every dart from every session in Blackpool and the World Matchplay. It starts on Saturday July 20 and the final is on Sunday July 28.