One of the biggest events of the Professional Darts Corporation’s calendar returned this weekend as the 2022 edition of the World Matchplay is contested.
The very best players in the world are competing at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool to battle it out for the trophy which bears the name of legendary 16 time winner Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
This year marks the 29th edition of the competition, and the 28th to be played at the historic venue which was first opened in 1878.
Only once has the Winter Gardens not hosted the event - in 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic when it was staged behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
However, the large entertainment complex is as synonymous with the Matchplay as the Alexandra Palace is with the World Championships.
The history and prestige of the event makes it one of the most sought after prizes on the PDC circuit.
PDC World Matchplay Darts quarter final schedule
Defending champion Peter Wright is out of the competition after losing a thrilling quarter final to Dimitri Van den Bergh in a replay of last year’s final.
The Belgian led 11-5 at one point in the race to 16 legs but Wright mounted an incredible comeback to actually lead 12-11 before ‘The Dreammaker’ secured a 16-14 victory.
Michael van Gerwen and Nathan Aspinall played out a similar contest with MVG leading 11-4 at one point before ‘The Asp’ closed the gap to 14-10.
The three time world champion was one set away at 15-10 but the Englishman kept pushing, falling just short as van Gerwen also secured a 16-14 win.
Darts’ fans will be hoping for more thrilling action in the remaining quarter-final ties tonight.
First up it’s an all-Dutch clash as World Cup teammates Dirk van Dujivenbode and Danny Noppert go head-to-head.
Then, in the main event, tournament favourite Gerwyn Price takes on Portugal’s Jose de Sousa.
Who is taking part in the event and how does qualification work?
Qualifying for the event are 32 of the top players in the world based on the PDC and Pro Tour Order of Merit standings.
The top 16 players on the PDC Order of Merit as of 11 July are seeded and the top 16 players on the ProTour Order of Merit, not to have already qualified, are unseeded.
The 32 players who entered the competition in round one were: Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith, Michael van Gerwen, James Wade, Gary Anderson, José de Sousa, Jonny Clayton, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Rob Cross, Danny Noppert, Luke Humphries, Joe Cullen, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Dave Chisnall, Krzysztof Ratajski, Damon Heta, Nathan Aspinall, Ryan Searle, Martin Schindler, Brendan Dolan, Daryl Gurney, Callan Rydz, Gabriel Clemens, Adrian Lewis, Andrew Gilding, Stephen Bunting, Kim Huybrechts, Martin Lukeman, Chris Dobey, Madars Razma, Rowby-John Rodriguez.
PDC World Matchplay Darts: TV coverage and live stream
Sky Sports will broadcast all the action from the Winter Gardens live, starting with Sunday’s afternoon session at 1pm, followed by the evening session at 7:30pm on Sky Sports Action (Sky Channel 407).
Sky customers can watch all the action online and on mobile devices via the SkyGo app which can be downloaded from most mainstream app stores.
Non-Sky customers can also watch the darts by purchasing a subscription to NowTV.
The streaming service offers both daily and monthly subscription options so darts fans can watch just one day of action or the full tournament.