Humphries Handed Tough Arena Trier Opener

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Luke Humphries will begin his defence of the Interwetten European Darts Matchplay against Liam Maendl-Lawrance or Marko Kantele, with the draw and schedule for this weekend’s event confirmed.

The year’s tenth PDC European Tour event will take place at Arena Trier from June 30-July 2, as 48 players battle it out for the £30,000 top prize in the final event before the qualification cut-off for July’s Betfred World Matchplay.

Humphries – a winner of four European Tour titles in 2022 – has reached a further four finals so far in 2023 without yet adding to that haul, and the former World Youth Champion will arrive in Trier as the number one seed.

Michael van Gerwen returns to the big stage after recovering from pre-planned dental surgery earlier this month, while world number one Michael Smith will also headline this weekend’s action.

Friday’s first round – which will be broadcast through PDCTV, Viaplay and DAZN – will feature 16 matches across two sessions, as Germany’s number one Gabriel Clemens stars on home soil.

World Championship semi-finalist Clemens – who helped steer Germany to the World Cup of Darts semi-finals a fortnight ago alongside Martin Schindler – will kick off his campaign with an intriguing clash against Jose de Sousa.

Fellow countryman Ricardo Pietreczko will continue his bid for World Matchplay qualification against Fabian Herz in an all-German affair, while Maendl-Lawrance plays Finnish veteran Kantele in his opener.

Kim Huybrechts and Brendan Dolan currently occupy the final two places in this year’s provisional World Matchplay field, and they have been pitted against Keane Barry and Connor Scutt in their respective first round ties.

William O’Connor – currently £2,000 adrift of qualification – faces ten-time TV title winner James Wade, while Simon Whitlock meets James Wilson as he aims to preserve his hopes of a Blackpool return.

The 16 seeded players enter the fray in Saturday’s second round, as Humphries kicks off his campaign alongside some of the sport’s top names.

Van Gerwen could take on his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld in a blockbuster second round tussle, with the five-time World Champion up against George Killington in Friday’s first round.

Second seed Dirk van Duijvenbode will open his challenge against UK Open champion Andrew Gilding or Darryl Pilgrim, with Dave Chisnall kicking off his bid for a third European Tour title of 2023 against Ryan Joyce or Ted Evetts.

Damon Heta will play the winner of the all-Dutch clash between Gian van Veen and Christian Kist, while fifth seed Rob Cross begins his bid for back-to-back European Tour titles against Mickey Mansell or Matt Campbell.

World Champion Smith has been drawn against Huybrechts or Barry, and Whitlock and Wilson will compete for the right to play former UK Open champion Danny Noppert for a place in round three.

World Youth Champion Josh Rock could meet his compatriot Dolan in round two, while Schindler will take on Stephen Burton or Callan Rydz in front of a partisan home crowd on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, Austrian Darts Open winner Jonny Clayton faces a tough test against either O’Connor or Wade, while European Champion Ross Smith meets Luke Woodhouse or Stephen Bunting.

Following Saturday’s second round, the last 16 will take place on Sunday afternoon, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in a bumper evening session.

Live coverage of all 2023 European Tour events will be streamed through Viaplay in the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and all Nordic & Baltic countries, and through DAZN for viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Coverage will also be shown on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and through bookmakers’ worldwide.

NB: From the original field, Gerwyn Price and Jim Williams have withdrawn and been replaced from the Reserve List by Andrew Gilding and Callan Rydz.

2023 Interwetten European Darts Matchplay:

Tournament Draw Bracket – Second Round Onwards

(6) Michael van Gerwen v George Killington/Raymond van Barneveld

(11) Ryan Searle v Jose de Sousa/Gabriel Clemens

(3) Dave Chisnall v Ryan Joyce/Ted Evetts

(14) Joe Cullen v Daniel Klose/Vitezslav Sedlak

(7) Michael Smith v Kim Huybrechts/Keane Barry

(10) Josh Rock v Connor Scutt/Brendan Dolan

(2) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Darryl Pilgrim/Andrew Gilding

(15) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Fabian Herz/Ricardo Pietreczko

(5) Rob Cross v Mickey Mansell/Matt Campbell

(12) Jonny Clayton v William O’Connor/James Wade

(4) Damon Heta v Gian van Veen/Christian Kist

(13) Martin Schindler v Stephen Burton/Callan Rydz

(8) Nathan Aspinall v Graham Hall/Martin Lukeman

(9) Danny Noppert v Simon Whitlock/James Wilson

(1) Luke Humphries v Liam Maendl-Lawrance/Marko Kantele

(16) Ross Smith v Luke Woodhouse/Stephen Bunting

Schedule of Play

Friday June 30

First Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Ryan Joyce v Ted Evetts

Daniel Klose v Vitezslav Sedlak

Gian van Veen v Christian Kist

Graham Hall v Martin Lukeman

Connor Scutt v Brendan Dolan

Darryl Pilgrim v Andrew Gilding

Mickey Mansell v Matt Campbell

Stephen Burton v Callan Rydz

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Liam Maendl-Lawrance v Marko Kantele

Fabian Herz v Ricardo Pietreczko

Kim Huybrechts v Keane Barry

William O’Connor v James Wade

George Killington v Raymond van Barneveld

Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens

Simon Whitlock v James Wilson

Luke Woodhouse v Stephen Bunting

Saturday July 1

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Dave Chisnall v Joyce/Evetts

Josh Rock v Scutt/Dolan

Rob Cross v Mansell/Campbell

Damon Heta v Van Veen/Kist

Nathan Aspinall v Hall/Lukeman

Dirk van Duijvenbode v Pilgrim/Gilding

Joe Cullen v Klose/Sedlak

Ross Smith v Woodhouse/Bunting

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Jonny Clayton v O’Connor/Wade

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Herz/Pietreczko

Ryan Searle v De Sousa/Clemens

Michael van Gerwen v Killington/Van Barneveld

Michael Smith v Huybrechts/Barry

Luke Humphries v Maendl-Lawrance/Kantele

Martin Schindler v Burton/Rydz

Danny Noppert v Whitlock/Wilson

Sunday July 2

Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Final

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

——ENDS——

Images: PDC Europe

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