Reigning Champion Price To Headline Opening Night Of World Darts Championship

The opening night will see world number one Price take on the winner of Ritchie Edhouse v Lihao Wen
11:05, 02 Dec 2021

Reigning champion Gerwyn Price will begin his William Hill World Darts Championship title defence on the opening night of the 2021/22 event, with the schedule of play for the first and second rounds now confirmed.

The pre-Christmas period in the sport's biggest tournament will see the first and second rounds played across nine days from December 15-23 as fans are welcomed back to London's Alexandra Palace. 

The opening night on Wednesday December 15 will see world number one Price face the winner of Ritchie Edhouse v Lihao Wen, which will be the first game to grace the iconic Ally Pally stage.

An eagerly-anticipated first session will also see two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis up against Canada's Matt Campbell, while speedster Ricky Evans takes on India's Nitin Kumar.

Thursday December 16 will see the first double session, as two-time winner Gary Anderson plays either Lewis - in a possible rematch of two previous finals - or Campbell, and Lisa Ashton meets Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp. 

World number two Peter Wright will begin his quest for a second Ally Pally title in three years against either Ryan Meikle or 16-year-old German Fabian Schmutzler on Friday December 17, which will also see 67-year-old legend Paul Lim in action

Saturday December 18 will see Michael van Gerwen open his challenge to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for a fourth time against Chas Barstow or John Norman Jnr.

Fallon Sherrock will face Steve Beaton on Sunday December 19 as she returns to the stage where she famously became the first woman to win at the PDC's World Championship two years ago.

Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Lawrence Lustig/PDC

A blockbuster Sunday evening session will also see the most successful player of 2021 Jonny Clayton in action against Keane Barry or Royden Lam and the all-German tie between Florian Hempel and Martin Schindler.

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld will make his Alexandra Palace return on Monday December 20 against Lourence Ilagan, before three-time semi-finalist James Wade begins his campaign.

Tuesday December 21 will see the first round draw to a close, while 2018/19 runner-up Michael Smith and two-time quarter-finalist Dimitri Van den Bergh will be in second round action.

A double session of second round action on Wednesday December 22 will feature former runner-up Simon Whitlock, two-time semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall and two-time quarter-finalist Luke Humphries 

The second round will conclude across two sessions on Thursday December 23, when former champion Rob Cross and world number seven Jose de Sousa are among the stars in action.

Following a three-day Christmas break, the third and fourth rounds will be held from December 27-30, with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final being held from January 1-3.

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