Champion Cross handed Clemens test in Betfred World Matchplay


Rob Cross will begin his defence of the Betfred World Matchplay title against German debutant Gabriel Clemens.

2018 World Champion Cross captured the World Matchplay title in memorable fashion by defeating Michael Smith 12 months ago.

He will open his challenge to retain the Phil Taylor trophy against emerging star Clemens, the 2019 German Darts Masters finalist, after the pair were drawn together for the first round of the event, which will be held from July 18-26 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

World number one Michael van Gerwen has drawn Brendan Dolan in the first round, with World Champion Peter Wright drawing Jose De Sousa – who will make history as the first Portugese player to compete in the event.

2018 World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson faces Justin Pipe, and 2007 winner James Wade will play Isle of Wight ace Keegan Brown.

World number three Gerwyn Price has drawn Dutchman Danny Noppert, 2019 runner-up Smith plays Wales’ Jonny Clayton and Nathan Aspinall takes on double World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh.

Norther Ireland’s Daryl Gurney meets Ricky Evans, who held on to claim the final qualifying place from the PDC’s ProTour Order of Merit.

Dave Chisnall and Vincent van der Voort will meet in a clash of two quick-throwing players, while Glen Durrant and Jeffrey de Zwaan – who have reached a semi-final apiece in the past two years – also clash.

2018 finalist Mensur Suljovic will play Jamie Hughes and another World Matchplay runner-up, Adrian Lewis, takes on veteran star Steve Beaton.

Ian White meets leading ProTour Order of Merit qualifier Joe Cullen, Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski drew Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena and Simon Whitlock, the world number 16, plays debutant Ryan Joyce – who qualified after winning one of the five PDC Summer Series events in Milton Keynes this week.

South Africa’s Devon Petersen mounted a late bid to qualify as he reached Sunday’s semi-finals, but agonisingly he missed a dart to defeat Price and reach the final – although he had needed to win the event to snatch a World Matchplay debut.

The Betfred World Matchplay will be held behind closed doors from July 18-26 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, broadcast live on Sky Sports, RTL7, DAZN and the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners.

2020 Betfred World Matchplay Draw:
(1) Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan
(16) Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce
(8) Gary Anderson v Justin Pipe
(9) James Wade v Keegan Brown
(4) Rob Cross v Gabriel Clemens
(13) Krzysztof Ratajski v Jermaine Wattimena
(5) Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton
(12) Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Hughes
(2) Peter Wright v Jose De Sousa
(15) Glen Durrant v Jeffrey de Zwaan
(7) Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans
(10) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
(3) Gerwyn Price v Danny Noppert
(14) Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton
(6) Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
(11) Ian White v Joe Cullen

PDC Order of Merit Qualifiers
1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Michael Smith
6 Nathan Aspinall
7 Daryl Gurney
8 Gary Anderson
9 James Wade
10 Dave Chisnall
11 Ian White
12 Mensur Suljovic
13 Krzysztof Ratajski
14 Adrian Lewis
15 Glen Durrant
16 Simon Whitlock

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers
Joe Cullen
Brendan Dolan
Jose De Sousa (Debut)
Danny Noppert
Jermaine Wattimena
Gabriel Clemens (Debut)
Jonny Clayton
Jamie Hughes
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Ryan Joyce (Debut)
Dimitri Van den Bergh (Debut)
Justin Pipe
Vincent van der Voort
Keegan Brown
Steve Beaton
Ricky Evans 


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