Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld could be set for an all-Dutch showdown in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Darts Masters, after the draw for the tournament’s inaugural staging was conducted this afternoon.
Van Gerwen will face the legendary Singapore veteran Paul Lim in the pick of the first-round ties, and the world number one will be wary of the threat posed by Lim, who hit the first ever televised 9-dart finish at the World Championships over 26 years ago.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will face Lihao Wen, the winner of Stage Three on the PDC-affiliated Chinese tour earlier in 2016. Van Barneveld will be hoping to build upon his impressive semi-final showing in Auckland, and the Dutch vans will collide if both men win their first-round encounters.
Elsewhere, Gary Anderson will begin his bid for a third consecutive World Series title with a tie against TV debutant Yunfei Jiang. The world champion enters this event in bullish mood, hoping to maintain his unbeaten World Series record in 2016.
“I’ve been delighted with how things have gone for me in Dubai and Auckland and it would be great to make it a hat-trick this weekend. The World Series has been great and my form’s been good, so I’m looking forward to this weekend. I don’t know anything about my opponent yet but I’ll be ready for him because that’s often the most dangerous game,” Anderson admitted.
Phil Taylor will meet Yuanjun Liu in round-one, in a repeat of their World Cup of Darts showdown last month. Liu was representing China in Frankfurt last month and Taylor prevailed 4-0 on that occasion, although he is expecting a tougher task this time around.
“That was his first time on TV so might have been a bit nervous there, but this time he might not be so nervous .We’ll have to wait and see – I’m sure he’ll be a different player to who he was in Germany,” Taylor added.
2015 Auckland Darts Masters winner Adrian Lewis will face Chinese qualifier Jianhua Shen in his opening match on Saturday afternoon. Lewis defended his Auckland final valiantly last weekend, eventually losing 11-7 in the final to Gary Anderson. However, Jackpot will be aiming to go one step further in Shanghai.
James Wade, who defeated Michael van Gerwen in Auckland last week, will begin his bid for a maiden World Series crown against Yanlai Shi. Meanwhile, four-time World Series semi-finalist Dave Chisnall will take on one of Hong Kong’s World Cup representatives, Scott MacKenzie.
Hong Kong’s other representative, Ting Chi Royden Lam, will take on Peter Wright, in what promises to be a very colourful contest. Royden Lam is famed for his distinctive style, but he’s also a top-class player, having become the first ever Asian player to win a PDC Tour card.
The Shanghai Darts Masters will be held on June 25-26 at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South. The eight first-round matches will take place on Saturday afternoon, whilst the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be staged on a marathon Sunday session.
2016 Shanghai Darts Masters
Tournament Draw Bracket
Gary Anderson (1) v Yunfei Jiang
James Wade (5) v Yanlai Shi
Phil Taylor (4) v Yuanjun Liu
Peter Wright (8) v Ting Chi Royden Lam
Michael van Gerwen (2) v Paul Lim
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Lihao Wen
Adrian Lewis (3) v Jianhua Shen
Dave Chisnall (6) v Scott Mackenzie
Saturday June 25 (5pm)
First Round Order of Play
Raymond van Barneveld v Lihao Wen
Peter Wright v Ting Chi Royden Lam
James Wade v Shiyan Lai
Dave Chisnall v Scott Mackenzie
Phil Taylor v Yuanjun Liu
Adrian Lewis v Jianhua Shen
Michael van Gerwen v Paul Lim
Gary Anderson v Yunfei Jiang
Best of 11 legs
Sunday June 26 (5pm)
Best of 15 legs