Reigning champion Phil Taylor will begin the defence of his Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters title against Japanese number one Haruki Muramatsu, when the tournament begins at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall on Wednesday.
Taylor, who defeated Peter Wright 8-7 in the event’s inaugural staging last year, has prevailed in all three of his meetings against the 39-year-old Muramatsu. The 16-time world champion defeated the Japanese star in the 2012 World Championship, whilst he’s also edged him out on two separate occasions in the World Cup of Darts.
Last year’s finalist Peter Wright will take on Chikara Fujimori, who suffered a whitewash defeat to Michael van Gerwen in round-one twelve months ago. Van Gerwen, who claimed victory in the recent Shanghai Darts Masters, takes on Masumi Chino. Chino also appeared in last year’s tournament, losing 6-2 to eventual winner Taylor.
World champion Gary Anderson will go in search of his third World Series title of 2016 when he faces Seigo Asada tomorrow. Asada has competed in both the BDO World Championship and BDO World Trophy so far this year, and he could provide a stern test for ‘The Flying Scotsman’.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will begin his bid for a maiden World Series crown against Keita Ono. Ono made his World Championship debut against Phil Taylor last December, whilst he also represented Japan in the recent World Cup of Darts, along with Muramatsu.