2018 German Darts Masters Preview

Wright (PDC)

THE German Darts Masters will get the 2018 PDC World Series of Darts underway at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen on Friday with a one-day spectacular in front of 20,000 fans.

The 16-player tournament is the first of six global events on the 2018 World Series circuit and will see the home of FC Schalke 04 transformed into a "Darts Music Arena" for the one-day spectacle, which marks the continued growth of the sport in Germany.

Eight leading German players will compete in the tournament, led by newly-crowned German Darts Open champion Max Hopp and Berlin's emerging star Martin Schindler.

German Superleague qualifiers Gabriel Clemens, Manfred Bilderl, Stefan Stoyke, Robert Marijanovic, Nico Kurz and Dragutin Horvat are joined by Hopp and Schindler as they take on the eight PDC stars.

Reigning German Darts Masters champion Peter Wright heads the eight PDC representatives, which include Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson who were both double winners on last year’s international World Series circuit.

World Champion Rob Cross, Welsh star Jamie Lewis and Belgium’s Dimitri Van den Bergh will all make their World Series debuts, while Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld will also star at the Veltins Arena.

Last year’s World Series of Darts Finals champion Van Gerwen faces crowd favourite Hopp in round one, and the Dutchman can’t wait to perform in front of a record-breaking crowd.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in this tournament in front of such a huge crowd,” said Van Gerwen, who also took victory in Shanghai and Las Vegas in 2017.

Van Gerwen (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

“I love playing in the World Series and I am focused on winning as many titles as I can this year starting with this one – I want to take the title off Peter.”

The Dutchman will face a stern test against Hopp, fresh from his European Tour win in April, who is hoping to put on a show in front of his adoring home crowd.

“It will be amazing to play in front of so many of my home fans,” Hopp commented.

Hopp (PDC)

“My confidence is growing now and I believe I can do great things, I want to beat the big players and put on a show for the German crowd.”

Wright, who starred in every 2017 World Series event, will come up against Horvat in a replay of last year’s first round tie, and the Scot is expecting another tough test after surviving missed match darts on that occasion.

“I’ve got good memories of the tournament because it was the first World Series title I won, but I could have gone out in the first round,” Wright admitted.

Wright (PDC)

“Dragutin had darts to beat me but I got through it and went all the way, which I will be hoping to do again.”

Five-time World Champion Van Barneveld will get the action underway in the opening afternoon session as he takes on Bilderl.

Lewis will face PDC debutant Kurz and Austria’s Suljovic will play Marijanovic, before the opening session is rounded off with a clash between Anderson and Clemens, who reached the final of Players Championship 11 last weekend before losing to the Scot.

After a short interval the first round action continues as Belgium’s Van den Bergh meets Schindler, before Van Gerwen clashes with Hopp.

Reigning champion Wright faces Horvat, before the first round action concludes with Cross against Stoyke.

The first round will be split across two mini-sessions at 3pm and 5.30pm local time, with the quarter-finals kicking off a bumper evening session from 8pm.

The intervals will see music acts on stage at the Veltins Arena to complement the unique World Series of Darts tournament.

The German Darts Masters will be shown live on ITV4 from 1.45pm-6.30pm and 7pm-12am.

Fans outside the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands can watch in PDCTV-HD.

Tickets for the 2018 German Darts Masters are still available and can be purchased via THIS LINK.

2018 German Darts Masters
First Round Draw

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Max Hopp
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Martin Schindler
Gary Anderson (4) v Gabriel Clemens
Jamie Lewis v Nico Kurz
Peter Wright (2) v Dragutin Horvat
Raymond van Barneveld v Manfred Bilderl
Rob Cross (3) v Stefan Stoyke
Mensur Suljovic v Robert Marijanovic

Schedule of Play
First Round
3pm Local Time

Raymond van Barneveld v Manfred Bilderl
Jamie Lewis v Nico Kurz
Mensur Suljovic v Robert Marijanovic
Gary Anderson v Gabriel Clemens
5.30pm Local time
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Martin Schindler
Michael van Gerwen v Max Hopp
Peter Wright v Dragutin Horvat
Rob Cross v Stefan Stoyke
Best of 11 legs

8pm Local Time

Anderson/Clemens v Lewis/Kurz
Van Gerwen/Hopp v Van den Bergh/Schindler
Wright/Horvat v Van Barneveld/Bilderl
Cross/Stoyke v Suljovic/Marijanovic
Best of 15 legs

Anderson/Clemens/Lewis/Kurz v Van Gerwen/Hopp/Van den Bergh/Schindler
Wright/Horvat/Van Barneveld/Bilderl v Cross/Stoyke/Suljovic/Marijanovic
Best of 15 legs

Best of 15 legs

2018 PDC World Series of Darts Events
German Darts Masters May 25, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
U.S. Darts Masters July 6-7, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, USA
Shanghai Darts Masters July 13-14, Pullman Hotel Shanghai South, China
Auckland Darts Masters August 3-5, Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
Melbourne Darts Masters August 10-12, Hisense Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Brisbane Darts Masters August 17-19, BCEC, Brisbane, Australia
World Series of Darts Finals November 2-4, Multiversum, Schwechat, Vienna, Austria

Ticket info at https://www.pdc.tv/world-series-darts-event-tickets