Fallon Sherrock has been handed a glamorous opening clash at the World Championship against veteran Steve Beaton, who will be making a record 31st appearance at the tournament; Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis could collide in the second round
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 29/11/21 10:13pm
Fallon Sherrock has been handed a blockbuster World Championship opening-round match against ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ Steve Beaton, while two former champions Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis are on a collision course.
Sherrock, who smashed the glass ceiling by reaching the last 32 of the tournament in 2019, heads to Alexandra Palace on a high after reaching the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.
But she has been handed a tricky opening clash against 57-year-old Beaton, who will be making his record 31st appearance at the Worlds.
Sherrock could potentially play defending champion Gerwyn Price in the last 32 with a tour card up for grabs if she comes through against Beaton and then her potential second-round opponent, Belgian Kim Huybrechts.
“It’s a very exciting draw, isn’t it? I’m really excited because again I get to play an iconic person in the sport and I’m really privileged to play that and I’m excited to see what happens,” said 27-year-old Sherrock, who was in the Sky Sports News studio for the draw.
“I could have had Raymond (van Barneveld) or Adrian Lewis, so I’m happy with my draw.”
She added: “My preparation now is going to be set play, practising on my finishing because I know I can score. It’s just tightening up the darts a little bit more on my scoring and try and get that set play back because at the moment I’ve not had a chance to play set play. It’s just getting the mentality back for that in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m just so excited. I want to hear the roar again and feel the electric atmosphere. I’ve had great memories from there so hopefully I can relieve it all.”
Top seed and defending champion Price will begin the defence of the Sid Waddell Trophy against either Ritchie Edhouse or Lihao Wen.
In another outstanding match-up ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Gary Anderson – who lifted the trophy in 2015 and 2016 – could play 2011 and 2012 champion Adrian Lewis should ‘Jackpot’ overcome Matt Campbell of Canada.
Five-time world champion Van Barneveld will mark his return after appearing to take his final bow on the professional stage when Darin Young delivered a 3-1 defeat to the former postman at the Worlds in December 2019.
The Dutchman is back and showing good form in recent weeks. He will take on Laurence Ilagan before a potential meeting with 2018 winner Rob Cross.
Lisa Ashton will be seeking her first win at the iconic venue when she faces Ron Meulenkamp with the winner to play Michael Smith.
World No 2 Peter Wright, who is back in scintillating form after winning the Players Championship Finals in Minehead at the weekend, will play the winner of the match between Ryan Meikle or Fabian Schmutzler.
Three-time champion Michael van Gerwen may have gone a full calendar year without a major ranking title for the first time in a decade, but he will be determined to click into gear at this year’s Worlds when he opens up against either Chas Barstow or John Norman Jnr.
Welshman Jonny Clayton has won the Masters, Premier League and World Grand Prix champion already this year, and now ‘The Ferret’ will want to end the season on an ultimate high in 2022.
He will take on either Keane Barry or Royden Lam in the second round.
It’s not long to wait until the darts returns to your screens and it’s the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace – join us on Sky Sports for every arrow from every session across 16 days which gets under way on Wednesday, December 15. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts