2017 Unibet World Grand Prix Draw

Michael van Gerwen - Unibet World Grand Prix (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN will open his defence of the Unibet World Grand Prix title against John Henderson in Dublin next month, as Richard North takes on 2016 runner-up Gary Anderson on his debut in the double-start format.

Dutch star Van Gerwen claimed his third World Grand Prix title with a sensational 5-2 defeat of Anderson in last year's final at the Citywest Hotel, producing one of the event's finest performances as he reclaimed the trophy.

The World Champion will take on Scottish qualifier Henderson - a former World Grand Prix quarter-finalist - in their first round tie in Dublin at the Sky Sports-televised event.

World number two Gary Anderson takes on emerging star North, the Hampshire-based qualifier who has earned his debut in the World Grand Prix through his form on the 2017 ProTour since winning a Tour Card at Qualifying School.

Another of 2017's shooting stars, Rob Cross, will meet Steve Beaton in round one, while two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade drew Steve West - who knocked out Phil Taylor on his Dublin debut 12 months ago.

Two-time finalist Raymond van Barneveld drew Kyle Anderson in another high-profile tie, with the Australian having won his first TV title at August's Auckland Darts Masters.

UK Open champion Peter Wright, the number three seed, draw former World Grand Prix semi-finalist Stephen Bunting, while 2010 finalist Adrian Lewis meets Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney in a tasty draw.

Former finalist Dave Chisnall plays Jelle Klaasen, Austria's Mensur Suljovic takes on Ian White and Michael Smith faces Gerwyn Price to complete the ties involving seeded players.

2015 World Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton will meet Kim Huybrechts, whose elder brother Ronny drew 2012 finalist Mervyn King, while Alan Norris plays Justin Pipe and Joe Cullen takes on Darren Webster.

Dutch youngster Benito van de Pas will play Spain's Cristo Reyes, while Australian star Simon Whitlock will face former Lakeside Champion Christian Kist.

The Unibet World Grand Prix will be held from October 1-7 at the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre in Dublin.

The first round is split across Sunday and Monday, with the second round taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday features the four quarter-finals, with the semi-finals on Friday night and the final on Saturday.

The final will be preceded by the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final between William O'Connor and Jason Cullen, who will be competing for the top domestic honour as well as a place in the William Hill World Darts Championship.

The draw was broadcast live on the OfficialPDC Facebook Page.

The Unibet World Grand Prix will be held from October 1-7 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin and broadcast live on Sky Sports. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.ie, call 00353 (0)1 401 0505 or email darts17@citywesthotel.com.

Unibet World Grand Prix
Draw Bracket

Michael van Gerwen (1) v John Henderson
Alan Norris v Justin Pipe
Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Kyle Anderson
Steve Beaton v Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall (5) v Jelle Klaasen
Robert Thornton v Kim Huybrechts
Adrian Lewis (4) v Daryl Gurney
Joe Cullen v Darren Webster
Gary Anderson (2) v Richard North
Simon Whitlock v Christian Kist
Michael Smith (7) v Gerwyn Price
Benito van de Pas v Cristo Reyes
Mensur Suljovic (6) v Ian White
Steve West v James Wade
Peter Wright (3) v Stephen Bunting
Mervyn King v Ronny Huybrechts