Baltic Sea Darts Open: Draw confirmed as Luke Littler is set for early Michael van Gerwen collision

Luke Littler has discovered his first opponent at the NEO.bet Baltic Sea Darts Open, with the draw and schedule for this weekend’s event confirmed.

 

The Wunderino Arena in Kiel will play host to the sixth PDC European Tour event of 2024 from May 10-12, as 48 players battle it out for the £30,000 top prize in Germany.

 

Reigning champion Dave Chisnall – also the number one seed – will be among the headline acts this weekend, with last year’s runner-up Luke Humphries and current Premier League leader Littler set to star.

 

Friday’s first round – which will be broadcast through PDCTV, Viaplay and DAZN – will feature 16 matches across two sessions, as Littler begins his bid for a third European Tour title of 2024 against in-form Dutchman Wessel Nijman.

 

German number one Martin Schindler – a winner at last month’s International Darts Open – will play Mike De Decker, while Schindler’s World Cup partner Gabriel Clemens also faces Belgian opposition in Andy Baetens.

 

UK Open champion Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on Daryl Gurney in another stand-out tie, with World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall pitted against a resurgent Ritchie Edhouse for a place in round two.

 

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld meets Sweden’s Daniel Larsson, as 2023 UK Open champion Andrew Gilding kicks off his campaign with a clash against Frenchman Thibault Tricole.

 

Former Grand Slam champion Jose de Sousa – winless on the European Tour in 2024 – faces Poland’s Sebastian Bialecki, with veteran pair Brendan Dolan, the Players Championship 10 winner on Tuesday, and James Wade up against Dutch duo Jermaine Wattimena and Niels Zonneveld respectively.

 

The 16 seeded players will then enter the fray in Saturday’s second round, as Chisnall begins his title defence against Latvian trailblazer Razma or former Masters champion Dobey.

 

Three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen could renew his rivalry with Littler in a blockbuster showdown on Saturday evening, although the 17-year-old must first overcame Nijman if he is to continue his bid for a third European Tour title.

 

Second seed Damon Heta could face Gian van Veen in another intriguing affair, with the European Championship semi-finalist up against Host Nation Qualifier Kevin Troppmann in his opener.

 

World number one Humphries – the winner at the German Darts Grand Prix in April – will meet Bialecki or De Sousa for a place at Finals Day, with fourth seed Rob Cross up against either Maik Kuivenhoven or Christopher Toonders.

 

Fifth seed Jonny Clayton has been handed a tough opening assignment against Edhouse or Aspinall, as Dirk van Duijvenbode awaits the winner of the tie between Gurney and Van den Bergh.

 

Danny Noppert will take on his compatriot Van Barneveld or Larsson for a place in the last 16, while two-time World Champion Peter Wright kicks off his title bid against Tricole or Gilding.

 

Reigning Masters champion Stephen Bunting faces a potential tussle against German favourite Clemens, with Schindler and De Decker locking horns for the right to meet Krzysztof Ratajski.

 

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.

 

NB: From the original list of entries, Gerwyn Price and Gary Anderson have withdrawn from the event, and have been replaced by Luke Woodhouse and Jermaine Wattimena from the Reserve List, with Ratajski and Joe Cullen now becoming seeds.

 

Live coverage of all 2024 European Tour events will be streamed through Viaplay, 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.

 

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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