World Matchplay: Michael van Gerwen to face Adrian Lewis with Peter Wright to open against Madars Razma
Michael van Gerwen to face Adrian Lewis in a first-round blockbuster at World Matchplay, while Peter Wright takes on Madars Razma the summer's favourite event will be held from July 16-24 in Blackpool, as 32 players compete for the Phil Taylor Trophy - live on Sky Sports
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 11/07/22 11:48pm
Michael van Gerwen has been handed a blockbuster first-round clash with Adrian Lewis at the World Matchplay in Blackpool, while defending champion Peter Wright will face Madars Razma.
Van Gerwen famously sealed his first Premier League title since 2019 in June as he equalled Phil Taylor's haul of six crowns.
And now the Dutchman will have his sights set on winning his third Matchplay at Blackpool's Winter Gardens and his first since 2016 when he opens his campaign against 2013 finalist, Lewis.
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The former two-time World Champion has shown signs of his former glories in recent months with the 37-year-old winning his first ranking title for over three years when he took victory in Players Championship 20 in Barnsley on Sunday.
The field comprises the top 16 from the PDC Order of Merit and 16 qualifiers from the ProTour Order of Merit, while prize money for the tournament has risen to £800,000 - an increase of £100,000 from the 2021 edition.
This includes a huge £200,000 to the winner, as reigning champion Peter Wright - also the World Champion and world No 1 - bids to defend his title.
'Snakebite' will begin his quest to become the fourth player to retain the title against Latvia's Madars Razma, one of four debutants in the 32-player field, while world No 2 Gerwyn Price begins his bid for a first World Matchplay crown against German debutant Martin Schindler, while 2019 runner-up Michael Smith goes up against Andrew Gilding.
Gary Anderson, the 2018 champion, has a tricky opening fixture against two-time semi-finalist, Daryl Gurney with Premier League runner-up Joe Cullen up against Australia's history-making World Cup winner Damon Heta.
(1) Peter Wright vs Madars Razma
(16) Krzysztof Ratajski vs Stephen Bunting
(8) Jonny Clayton vs Rowby-John Rodriguez
(9) Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Callan Rydz
(4) Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis
(13) Joe Cullen vs Damon Heta
(5) James Wade vs Martin Lukeman
(12) Luke Humphries vs Nathan Aspinall
(2) Gerwyn Price vs Martin Schindler
(15) Dave Chisnall vs Kim Huybrechts
(7) Jose de Sousa vs Gabriel Clemens
(10) Rob Cross vs Chris Dobey
(3) Michael Smith vs Andrew Gilding
(14) Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Ryan Searle
(6) Gary Anderson vs Daryl Gurney
(11) Danny Noppert vs Brendan Dolan
The schedule of play will be confirmed in due course, with the first round being played across the first three days from July 16-18.
This year's visit to the Winter Gardens also features the Women's World Matchplay, which will see eight players competing on Sunday, July 24.
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. We're back for the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Saturday, July 16 - live on Sky Sports.