World Championship schedule confirmed!

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Championship crown against either fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen or Northern Ireland’s Kevin Burness on the tournament’s opening night after the schedule of play for next month’s showpiece was confirmed on Wednesday evening.

The first round of the 96-player tournament will be played across the opening 11 sessions, which will also feature second round action. Van Gerwen could face former BDO world champion Klaasen in his opener as he eyes a fourth world title in the capital.

Klaasen – a semi-finalist here in 2016, will kick off this year’s festive feast of darts against PDPA qualifier Burness on Friday December 13, for the right to take on tournament favourite MVG in the evening’s fourth and final tussle.

Sandwiched between those ties will be two other tasty first round meetings as newly-crowned World Youth Champion Luke Humphries faces South Africa’s Devon Petersen, while former Premier League star Kim Huybrechts comes up against talented Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes.

2018 world champion Rob Cross headlines Saturday’s double session at Alexandra Palace, with the second seed taking on the winner of Huybrechts’ clash against Nentjes. Elsewhere, five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld begins his final PDC event against American veteran Darin Young.

Last year’s finalist Michael Smith is the highest-profile seed in action on another double session on Sunday, before two-time world champion Gary Anderson begins his bid for a third world title against Brendan Dolan or Nitin Kumar on Monday December 16.

Former World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan will face the winner of Van Barneveld vs Young on Tuesday night, whilst nine-time major winner James Wade – who is yet to reach a World Championship final, gets his campaign underway on Wednesday.

Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price has never gone beyond the last 16 at a World Championship, although the third seed is highly fancied to contend in this year’s tournament and he will meet either William O’Connor or Marko Kantele on Thursday December 19.

The first round draws to a close on Thursday with a showdown between last year’s quarter-finalist Ryan Joyce and Jan Dekker – both of whom ironically met the two women qualifiers in the first round 12 months ago.

The second round then concludes on Saturday December 21 as former World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on either Josh Payne or Brazil’s Diogo Portela for a place in round three.

Saturday also features Glen Durrant’s Alexandra Palace debut against either Jose De Sousa and Damon Heta, on a night which also includes opening games for Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic – seeded sixth and 11th respectively.

The third round is split either side of the Christmas break, with the fourth round being played on December 27-28 ahead of the quarter-finals across a double session on Sunday December 29.

The semi-finals on Monday December 30 will be followed by the final on Wednesday January 1 as sport’s first World Champion of 2020 is crowned after 16 days and 28 sessions of action, with a whopping £500,000 up for grabs for the victor.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

2019/2020 William Hill World Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Friday December 13 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Jelle Klaasen v Kevin Burness (First Round)
Kim Huybrechts v Geert Nentjes (First Round)
Luke Humphries v Devon Petersen (First Round)
Michael van Gerwen v Klaasen/Burness (Second Round)

Saturday December 14
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Darius Labanauskas v Matthew Edgar (First Round)
Ryan Meikle v Yuki Yamada (First Round)
Luke Woodhouse v Paul Lim (First Round)
Jermaine Wattimena v Humphries/Petersen (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Mark McGeeney v Matt Campbell (First Round)
Jamie Hughes v Zoran Lerchbacher (First Round)
Raymond van Barneveld v Darin Young (First Round)
Rob Cross v Huybrechts/Nentjes (Second Round)

Sunday December 15
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Kyle Anderson v Xiaochen Zong (First Round)
Ross Smith v Ciaran Teehan (First Round)
Brendan Dolan v Nitin Kumar (First Round)
Ian White v Labanauskas/Edgar (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Arron Monk v Jose Justicia (First Round)
Andy Boulton v Danny Baggish (First Round)
James Richardson v Mikuru Suzuki (First Round) 
Michael Smith v Woodhouse/Lim (Second Round)

Monday December 16 (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Steve Lennon v Callan Rydz (First Round)
William O’Connor v Marko Kantele (First Round)
Vincent van der Voort v Keane Barry (First Round) 
Gary Anderson v Dolan/Kumar (Second Round)

Tuesday December 17
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Ryan Searle v Robbie King (First Round)
Cristo Reyes v Lourence Ilagan (First Round) 
Rowby-John Rodriguez v Noel Malicdem (First Round) 
Krzysztof Ratajski v Hughes/Lerchbacher (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

Ritchie Edhouse v Boris Koltsov (First Round) 
Jose De Sousa v Damon Heta (First Round)
Ted Evetts v Fallon Sherrock (First Round) 
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Van Barneveld/Young (Second Round)

Wednesday December 18
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)

3x First Round, 1x Second Round
Ron Meulenkamp v Ben Robb (First Round) 
Mickey Mansell v Seigo Asada (First Round)
Harry Ward v Madars Razma (First Round)
Stephen Bunting v Monk/Justicia (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x First Round, 1x Second Round

James Wilson v Nico Kurz (First Round)
Josh Payne v Diogo Portela (First Round)
Gabriel Clemens v Benito van de Pas (First Round) 
James Wade v Edhouse/Koltsov (Second Round)

Thursday December 19
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x First Round, 2x Second Round

Justin Pipe v Benjamin Pratnemer (First Round)
Ryan Joyce v Jan Dekker (First Round) 
John Henderson v Richardson/Suzuki (Second Round)
Steve Beaton v K Anderson/Zong (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Chris Dobey v Meulenkamp/Robb (Second Round)
Danny Noppert v Lennon/Rydz (Second Round)
Dave Chisnall v Van der Voort/Barry (Second Round)
Gerwyn Price v O’Connor/Kantele (Second Round)

Friday December 20
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round

Darren Webster v Meikle/Yamada (Second Round)
Mervyn King v R Smith/Teehan (Second Round)
Jonny Clayton v Joyce/Dekker (Second Round)
Ricky Evans v McGeeney/Campbell (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Nathan Aspinall v Boulton/Baggish (Second Round)
Joe Cullen v Wilson/Kurz (Second Round)
Max Hopp v Clemens/Van de Pas (Second Round)
Peter Wright v Rodriguez/Malicdem (Second Round)

Saturday December 21
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
4x Second Round

Keegan Brown v Mansell/Asada (Second Round)
Simon Whitlock v Ward/Razma (Second Round)
Steve West v Searle/R King (Second Round)
Adrian Lewis v Reyes/Ilagan (Second Round)

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
4x Second Round

Daryl Gurney v Pipe/Pratnemer (Second Round)
Glen Durrant v De Sousa/Heta (Second Round)
Mensur Suljovic v Evetts/Sherrock (Second Round)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Payne/Portela (Second Round)

Sunday December 22
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Clayton/Joyce/Dekker v Bunting/Monk/Justicia
White/Labanauskas/Edgar v Hopp/Clemens/Van de Pas
Aspinall/Boulton/Baggish v Ratajski/Hughes/Lerchbacher

Evening Session (1900)
3x Third Round

Wade/Edhouse/Koltsov v Beaton/K Anderson/Zong
Cross/Huybrechts/Nentjes v Noppert/Lennon/Rydz
Van Gerwen/Klaasen/Burness v Evans/McGeeney/Campbell

Monday December 23
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Cullen/Wilson/Kurz v Wattimena/Humphries/Petersen
Lewis/Reyes/Ilagan v Webster/Meikle/Yamada
M Smith/Woodhouse/Lim v Van den Bergh/Payne/Portela 

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Third Round

Chisnall/Van der Voort/Barry v De Zwaan/Van Barneveld/Young
G Anderson/Dolan/Kumar v West/Searle/R King
Wright/Rodriguez/Malicdem v Brown/Mansell/Asada

Friday December 27
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Third Round

Whitlock/Ward/Razma v King/R Smith/Teehan
Suljovic/Evetts/Sherrock v Dobey/Meulenkamp/Robb
Gurney/Pipe/Pratnemer v Durrant/De Sousa/Heta

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
1x Third Round, 2x Fourth Round

Price/O’Connor/Kantele v Henderson/Richardson/Suzuki
Fourth Round games TBC

Saturday December 28
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
3x Fourth Round

Sunday December 29
Afternoon Session (1230 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Monday December 30 (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals

Wednesday January 1 (1900 GMT) 
Final

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