SHERROCK BEGINS HER TITLE DEFENCE IN A MOUTH-WATERING CLASH

Fallon Sherrock will begin her defence of the Betfred Women’s World Matchplay with a mouth-watering showdown against Lisa Ashton, after the eight-player line-up for next month’s event was confirmed on Sunday.

The second staging of the £25,000 event will be held on the afternoon of Sunday July 23 at the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool, televised live on Sky Sports and through the PDC’s global broadcast partners.

Eight of the sport’s leading female stars will battle it out for the £10,000 top prize on a bumper afternoon at the Empress Ballroom, with five different nations represented in the knockout tournament.

The field is comprised of the top eight players from a one-year Order of Merit based on PDC Women’s Series earnings across 20 tournaments since last August, and teenage sensation Beau Greaves will make her Blackpool bow as the top seed.

The 19-year-old has taken the Women’s Series circuit by storm over the last 12 months, winning 15 of the last 20 events to establish a commanding lead at the top of the rankings.

Greaves’ remarkable haul of titles included an astonishing 70-match winning run from August 2022 to February 2023, and she warmed up for her Winter Gardens debut by celebrating a hat-trick of wins in Hildesheim over the weekend.

The Doncaster darter will kick off her campaign against Dutch debutant Noa-Lynn van Leuven, who reached the Event 12 final to leapfrog last year’s Blackpool semi-finalist Lorraine Winstanley and secure qualification in last-gasp fashion.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki will make her Women’s World Matchplay debut as the second seed, having featured in nine Women’s Series finals over the last 12 months.

Suzuki has scooped two Women’s Series titles in 2023, and the former World Darts Championship qualifier will open her challenge against last year’s Women’s World Matchplay runner-up Aileen de Graaf in an intriguing last eight tie.

Reigning champion Sherrock will begin her bid for back-to-back Blackpool titles against four-time Women’s World Champion Ashton, in a blockbuster clash between two of the sport’s biggest names.

Sherrock ended a 12-month wait for a Women’s Series title with Event Ten success on Saturday, and she will take on Lancashire veteran Ashton – the sixth seed this year – in a star-studded opener.

The other quarter-final clash pits Ireland’s Robyn Byrne against Wales’ Rhian O’Sullivan, after both players celebrated maiden Women’s Series titles earlier this year to seal their debuts in the event.

Event Seven winner Byrne – the fourth seed in this year’s showpiece – has featured in three Women’s Series finals in 2023, while O’Sullivan dethroned Greaves to triumph in Event Six last month.

The winner of the Betfred Women’s World Matchplay will qualify for November’s Grand Slam of Darts and the 2023/24 World Darts Championship, while July’s champion will also scoop the £10,000 top prize.

2023 Betfred Women’s World Matchplay

Sunday July 23

Draw Bracket

(1) Beau Greaves v (8) Noa-Lynn van Leuven

(4) Robyn Byrne v (5) Rhian O’Sullivan

(2) Mikuru Suzuki v (7) Aileen de Graaf

(3) Fallon Sherrock v (6) Lisa Ashton

Format

Quarter-Finals – Best of seven legs

Semi-Finals – Best of nine legs

Final – Best of 11 legs

Prize Money

Winner: £10,000

Runner-Up: £5,000

Semi-Finalists: £2,500

Quarter-Finalists: £1,250

Total: £25,000

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