Darts News



The World Matchplay returns for its 26th iteration on the 20nd July, as 32 of the worlds elite darting stars take to the Blackpool stage over nine days of action at the Winter Gardens.

The PDC will combine the top 16 in the two-year rolling order of merit, with the top 16 players in the 2019 Pro Tour order of merit, making up a 32-man field.

Scottish star Gary Anderson was crowned champion 11 months ago, and after returning to form at the recent World Cup of Darts will be looking to retain his title. Persistent back problems have troubled ‘The Flying Scotsman’ in the past 18 months but following a minor break and visits to the chiropractor, Anderson is back in full flow.

Despite this, world number one and two-time former champion at the Winter Gardens, Michael van Gerwen, will go into the tournament as favourite. ‘The Green Machine’ has already sealed nine titles in 2019, including the Premier League and his third World Championship crown.

The Dutchman sealed two consecutive titled in 2015 and 2016, but after magnificent performances by Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson in the past two tournaments, van Gerwen is yet to win his third World Matchplay honour.

Having won the UK Open earlier in the season, Daryl Gurney is tipped to have a deep run in the North West. The Northern Irishman also reached the semi-finals of the Premier League, so enters the tournament in sensational form.

Former BDO World Champion Glen Durrant is also touted to go far in his PDC major TV debut. The Middlesbrough man has already won two Players Championship events, as well hitting a nine-darter since making the switch. The 48-year-old also made an appearance as a contender in the 2019 Premier League, pushing Daryl Gurney in front of a packed house in Glasgow.

Finally, having had a breakthrough run in Blackpool in 2018, Dutch number three Jeffrey de Zwaan also has to be considered a threat. A former World Youth Master, de Zwaan defeated Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall, losing out to eventual champion Gary Anderson in the semi-finals. De Zwaan may have an outside chance of reaching his first PDC major final, but will need to find his 2018 form in order to do so.

The tournament will begin on Saturday 20th July, with the champion crowned the following Sunday, where they will receive a cheque for £150,000 and the prestigious Phil Taylor trophy.