Darts: Lewis goes Dutch in bid to retain world crown
ADRIAN Lewis will start his defence of the PDC Ladbrokes world championship against the rising star of Dutch darts.
The event starts at Alexandra Palace a week on Friday, and Lewis has been handed a first-round draw against 22-year-old Gino Vos, a quarter-finalist at the 2009 BDO World Masters who is making his world championship debut.
Phil Taylor, targeting a 16th world title, was drawn against world No 57 Michael Mansell.
Lewis and Taylor are seeded to meet in the final on New Year's Day to battle it out for the Sid Waddell Trophy, named after the TV commentator who died earlier this year.
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Taylor said: "It would be a massive achievement to win the world championship again, but this year would be extra special if I was the first player to win the Sid Waddell Trophy.
"We all miss Sid and this is a brilliant tribute to him."
Lewis says the birth of son, Matthew, last weekend has given his hopes of retaining the world title a big boost.
He said: "Gino's a good young player so it will be a tough game to start, but I'm feeling great.
"Now that Matthew's been born it's a weight off my shoulders, so I can focus on preparing for the world championship now."
Lewis has won back-to-back world titles and only Eric Bristow (1984-86) and Taylor have won three consecutive world championships.
Taylor won the PDC prize for eight successive years between 1995 and 2002.
He was beaten by Dave Chisnall in the second round last year, but heads to Alexandra Palace as top seed.
He meets Michael Mansell, a left-hander from Northern Irelandt, in the last 64.
Dresden-based Andy Hamilton, beaten by Lewis in last year's final and the eighth seed, has been handed a tough first-round draw against James Richardson.
Richardson, from Rushden in Northamptonshire, made a dazzling world championship last year by dumping out five-time world champion Ray van Barneveld in the first round.
Hamilton said: "Getting to the final last year has given me so much belief. I know what I can do now."
Basford's Ian White will meet 10th seed Mark Webster in the first round.
Webster won the BDO championship in 2008 and beat Taylor in the PDC quarter-finals in 2011.