PDC World Championship 2018: Schedule confirmed!

Ally Pally schedule.jpg

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his William Hill World Darts Championship title on the opening night of this year’s tournament on Thursday December 14th, whilst Phil Taylor’s final Alexandra Palace campaign will get underway the following night.

World number one Van Gerwen is bidding for a third world title this year, and the reigning champion begins his title defence with a tie against his fellow countryman Christian Kist on a blockbuster opening night.

The opening night also features 1996 Lakeside world champion Steve Beaton, who takes on Irish Matchplay winner William O’Connor. James Wilson then takes on World Masters champion Krzysztof Ratajski, whilst UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price meets debutant Ted Evetts- who triumphed at Monday’s PDPA qualifier in Milton Keynes.

Phil Taylor enters the fray on Friday evening, as he attempts to draw down the curtain on an astonishing career by clinching his 17th World Championship title. However, he faces a difficult assignment against 2016 Grand Slam quarter-finalist Chris Dobey.

Elsewhere, Rob Cross will be hoping to continue his remarkable debut year on the PDC circuit when he faces the winner of the preliminary tie between Seigo Asada and Gordon Mathers, whilst a resurgent Stephen Bunting plays newly crowned World-Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh in one of the ties of the opening round.

The first double-session of the tournament kicks off on Saturday 16th December, with Benito van de Pas the highest ranked player in action against Steve West. Mervyn King will take on Austria’s Zoran Lercbacher, whilst two-time PDC major winner Robert Thornton plays either Brendan Dolan or Croatian qualifier Alan Ljubic.

Two-time world champion Gary Anderson headlines Saturday’s evening session and he’ll play either 2016 Lakeside finalist Jeff Smith or Development Tour winner Luke Humphries. Jelle Klaasen clashes with Jan Dekker in an all-Dutch affair, whilst another quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena meets 19th seed Joe Cullen.

The afternoon session on Sunday December 17 includes Auckland Darts Masters winner Kyle Anderson, who is up against Peter Jacques, whilst 2016 quarter-finalist Alan Norris meets Finland’s Kim Viljanen. Meanwhile, Players Championship Finals runner-up Jonny Clayton hopes to continue his fine form against either Jamie Lewis or Kenny Neyens.

Seven-time major winner James Wade kicks off his campaign in Sunday’s evening session against former World-Youth champion Keegan Brown, whilst eighth seed Dave Chisnall locks horns with Vincent van der Voort in another potential cracker. The final tie of the night then sees Ian White take on either Willard Bruguier or Cody Harris.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney and Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic make their bows on Monday against the veteran duo of Ronny Huybrechts and Kevin Painter, whilst former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster plays the winner of the preliminary tussle between Paul Lim or Kai Fan Leung.

Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld is the star attraction of Tuesday’s action but he faces a difficult opener against Richard North- the highest ranked qualifier on the Pro Tour Order of Merit.

Elsewhere, two-time world champion Adrian Lewis faces a defining tournament which begins with a clash against either Aleksandr Oreshkin or Kevin Munch, whilst World Grand Prix semi-finalist John Henderson does battle against Finland’s Marko Kantele.

Former finalist Simon Whitlock plays German debutant Martin Schindler on Wednesday night, as 2016 quarter-finalist Michael Smith plays another exciting debutant- Ireland’s Steve Lennon. Additionally, Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Justin Pipe awaits the winner of the preliminary tie between Xiao Chen Zong and Bernie Smith.

The first round concludes on Thursday, with second seed and UK Open champion Peter Wright the main attraction. He takes on debutant Diogo Portela, who is making World Championship history by becoming the first Brazilian to compete in this competition.

Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas collide in an all-Spanish affair to kick off the evening’s proceedings, before Premier League ace Kim Huybrechts plays James Richardson and Darren Webster meets South African star Devon Petersen.

The second round kicks off with a double session on Friday December 22nd, and a further two sessions will be held on Saturday December 23rd ahead of the Christmas break. The second round then concludes on Wednesday December 27th, with the third round split across Wednesday night and a double session on Thursday December 28th.

The quarter-finals will be held on Friday December 29th, with the semi-finals on Saturday December 30th ahead of the final on Monday January 1st. All the action will be broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel, and the full schedule of play can be viewed below.

2017/2018 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play

Preliminary & First Rounds
(P) denotes Preliminary Round
Thursday December 14 (7pm)
Steve Beaton v William O’Connor
James Wilson v Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen v Christian Kist
Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts

Friday December 15 (7pm)
Seigo Asada v Gordon Mathers (P)
Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
Rob Cross v Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers

Saturday December 16
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Alan Ljubic v Brendan Dolan (P)
Benito van de Pas v Steve West
Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher
Robert Thornton v Alan Ljubic/Brendan Dolan

Evening Session (7pm)
Jeff Smith v Luke Humphries (P)
Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena
Jelle Klaasen v Jan Dekker
Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries

Sunday December 17
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Kenny Neyens v Jamie Lewis (P)
Alan Norris v Kim Viljanen
Kyle Anderson v Peter Jacques
Jonny Clayton v Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis

Evening Session (7pm)
Willard Bruguier v Cody Harris (P)
James Wade v Keegan Brown
Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
Ian White v Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris

Monday December 18 (7pm)
Kai Fan Leung v Paul Lim (P)
Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter
Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts
Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim

Tuesday December 19 (7pm)
Aleksandr Oreshkin v Kevin Munch (P)
John Henderson v Marko Kantele
Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North
Adrian Lewis v Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch

Wednesday December 20 (7pm)
Xiao Chen Zong v Bernie Smith (P)
Michael Smith v Steve Lennon
Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler
Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith

Thursday December 21 (7pm)
Cristo Reyes v Toni Alcinas
Kim Huybrechts v James Richardson
Darren Webster v Devon Petersen
Peter Wright v Diogo Portela

Second Round
Friday December 22
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Price/Evetts v White/Bruguier/Harris
Chisnall/Van der Voort v Beaton/O’Connor
Klaasen/Dekker v Bunting/Van den Bergh

Evening Session (7pm)
Suljovic/Painter v Thornton/Ljubic/Dolan
G Anderson/J Smith/Humphries v M Webster/Leung/Lim
Van Gerwen/Kist v Wilson/Ratajski

Saturday December 23
Afternoon Session (1pm)

Wade/Brown v King/Lerchbacher
M Smith/Lennon v Cross/Asada/Mathers
Van de Pas/West v Cullen/Wattimena

Evening Session (7pm)
Gurney/R Huybrechts v Henderson/Kantele
Taylor/Dobey v Pipe/Zong/Smith
Van Barneveld/North v K Anderson/Jacques

Wednesday December 27
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Whitlock/Schindler v D Webster/Petersen
Norris/Viljanen v K Huybrechts/Richardson
A Lewis/Oreshkin/Munch v Reyes/Alcinas

Evening Session (7pm)
Wright/Portela v Clayton/Neyens/J Lewis
Third Round
2x Games TBC

Thursday December 28
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

3x Games TBC

Evening Session (7pm)
3x Games TBC

Friday December 29
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

2x Games

Evening Session (7pm)
2x Games

Saturday December 30 (7.30pm)

Monday January 1 (8pm

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