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Article: Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock make big stage TV returns at 2020 Ladbrokes UK Open

Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock make big stage TV returns at 2020 Ladbrokes UK Open

The 2020 Ladbrokes UK Open begins on Friday at Butlin's Minehead Resort, with Nathan Aspinall looking to defend the title he sensationally won 12 months ago. The unique tournament, played across eight boards simultaneously in the early rounds, will see 160 players competing in the 'festival of darts' from March 6-8. The first round will feature Tour Card Holders 97-127 along with the eight Challenge Tour Qualifiers, nine Development Tour Qualifiers and 16 Rileys Qualifiers. The opening three rounds will take place in the afternoon session on Friday March 6, with the top 32 entering at the fourth round stage in the evening session. Friday's play begins at 1100 GMT on Stages Two to Eight, while the Main Stage action begins at 1200 GMT as Lisa Ashton opens the tournament against Belgium's Mike De Decker. "I think I might be a bit nervous playing in a new venue but I am really looking forward to it," said Ashton, who became the first woman to win a PDC Tour Card in January, guaranteeing a UK Open spot. "When I won my Tour Card I hadn't even thought about being in the UK Open, it took a while to sink in. "I am enjoying life on the tour, I'm learning all the time because it's completely different to what I'm used to but everyone has been very welcoming. "My standard is improving all the time and hopefully this weekend I can show that. "The last time I was on a PDC stage was at the World Championship two years ago and I loved every minute of that, so it will be great to get back up there in front of the amazing atmosphere. "Women's darts is in a great place right now, there's a lot of interest around us. The support I've had has been really overwhelming." Ashton will be joined in the first round by Fallon Sherrock, who shot to global fame in December by becoming the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Championship. Sherrock made history once again in February by becoming the first woman to win a Rileys Qualifier for the UK Open, coming through a field of over 200 players in Wolverhampton. Her return to PDC action will see her face Northern Ireland's Kyle McKinstry on the Main Stage in another first round tie. "It's really exciting," said Sherrock. "It was a hard day in Wolverhampton just to qualify so now I'm there I want to enjoy it because I've watched it on TV before and it's a great event. "It's going to be another huge experience for me because the UK Open is such a different tournament to the World Championship and the Premier League. "I'm used to events where you play a few games in a day so I'll just focus on each game as it comes and not look too far ahead, and my focus is on preparing to play Kyle. "I know Kyle from the tour and we've been at a lot of events together in the past and he's a good scorer and a very good player." Another pick of the first round ties will see Brisbane Darts Masters winner Damon Heta of Australia take on two-time BDO champion Scott Waites in the battle of new Tour Card Holders. Stage Two's matches from the first round include former UK Open runner-up Andy Hamilton against Patrick Lynskey as well as New Zealand's Cody Harris, Hong Kong's Kai Fan Leung and Czech debutant Karel Sedlacek bringing an international flavour to the event. The first round winners will be joined by Tour Card Holders 65-96 in round two, as former BDO number one Mark McGeeney faces Scott Baker and Canadian ace Jeff Smith plays Greece's John Michael in the Main Stage games. Friday's opening session will also see round three take place, featuring the winners from round two along with Tour Card Holders 33-64, as World Youth Champion Luke Humphries faces Australian number two Kyle Anderson in a tasty tie on the Main Stage. The third round will also see 2012 UK Open champion Robert Thornton face Kim Huybrechts on the Main Stage, while Ireland's World Cup finalist William O'Connor plays Jan Dekker on Stage Two. At the conclusion of the third round, an open draw will be made live on the Main Stage for round four. The world's top 32 come into the event in Friday evening's fourth round, including defending champion Aspinall, world number one Michael van Gerwen and former UK Open champions Peter Wright, Gary Anderson Adrian Lewis and James Wade. Wade is joined by Steve Beaton and Wayne Jones as the only three players to have played in every staging of the UK Open since its inception in 2003. Aspinall embarked on a fairytale run to the title last year, defeating Rob Cross in the final to claim his first PDC televised title. The 28-year-old has since gone on to establish himself amongst the world's elite, earning a Premier League place having won the US Darts Masters and reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for a second successive year. "Winning the UK Open last year is something that will stay with me forever," said Aspinall. "The feeling when the match-winning 170 went in is a magical moment that I get goosebumps just thinking about. "Winning that title was the start of establishing myself among the world's elite. "It gave me the belief that I could beat anyone and win anything, and that confidence has made me the player I am today. "But I'm always looking forward, rather than back, and I'm targeting a good run this weekend." The action continues on Saturday March 7 with the fifth and sixth rounds across two sessions, before Sunday's closing stages are played out on the Main Stage. The draw for the fifth and sixth rounds will be conducted on the Main Stage at the conclusion of the fourth round, once again with the UK Open's unique open draw format in place. Players will compete for a £100,000 top prize, with a total prize fund of £450,000 on offer being paid down to the last 96. Action from the Main Stage will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers. Play on Stage Two on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast live on PDCTV for all PDCTV Subscribers worldwide. 2020 Ladbrokes UK Open Friday March 6 Afternoon Session (1100 GMT Start, 1200 GMT on Main Stage) First, Second & Third Rounds Main Stage Mike De Decker v Lisa Ashton (R1) Damon Heta v Scott Waites (R1) Kyle McKinstry v Fallon Sherrock (R1) Scott Baker v Mark McGeeney (R2) Jeff Smith v John Michael (R2) David Pallett v Doets/Thompson (R2) Heaver/Noguera v McKinstry/Sherrock (R2) Luke Humphries v Kyle Anderson (R3) Kim Huybrechts v Robert Thornton (R3) Josh Payne v Luke Woodhouse (R3) Stage Two Cody Harris v Scott Taylor (R1) Kai Fan Leung v Kelvin Self (R1) Adam Hunt v Karel Sedlacek (R1) Keane Barry v Alan Tabern (R1) Andy Hamilton v Patrick Lynskey (R1) Marko Kantele v Dirk van Duijvenbode (R2) Heta/Waites v Geert Nentjes (R2) Larsson/Meikle v De Decker/Ashton (R2) Menzies/Brooks v Nick Kenny (R2) Ryan Searle v Cristo Reyes (R3) William O'Connor v Jan Dekker (R3) Vincent van der Voort v Smith/Michael (R3) Koltsov/Van Trijp/Davidson/Borland v Larsson/Meikle/De Decker/Ashton (R3) Stage Three Steffen Siepmann v Krzysztof Kciuk (R1) Peter Jacques v Ciaran Teehan (R1) Michael Barnard v Steve Brown (R1) Daniel Larsson v Ryan Meikle (R1) Harry Ward v Gavin Carlin (R2) Kirk Shepherd v Leung/Self (R2) Hunt/Sedlacek v Barrie Bates (R2) Hayden/J Clark v Richardson/Penhall (R2) Ron Meulenkamp v Richard North (R3) Jones/Blades/Whitehead v Steve West (R3) Devon Petersen v Menzies/Brooks/Kenny (R3) Justin Smith/Jenkins/Beeney/Harms v Atkins/Murray/Bunse (R3) Huckvale/Burton/Van der Meer v Heaver/Noguera/McKinstry/Sherrock (R3) Stage Four Jason Askew v Greg Ritchie (R1) Jason Heaver v Jesus Noguera (R1) Adam Smith-Neale v Ben Cheeseman (R1) Darren Beveridge v Nathan Rafferty (R1) Andy Boulton v Reece Robinson (R2) Nathan Derry v Maik Kuivenhoven (R2) Justin Smith/Jenkins v Beeney/Harms (R2) Telnekes/Kleermaker v Madars Razma (R2) Jamie Lewis v Ross Smith (R3) Evetts/Van Peer/Roelofs v James Wilson (R3) Steve Lennon v Barnard/Brown/Barry/Tabern (R3) Mickey Mansell v Zonneveld/Hamilton/Lynskey (R3) Stage Five Adam Huckvale v Stephen Burton (R1) Rhys Hayden v James Clark (R1) Cameron Menzies v Bradley Brooks (R1) Kevin Burness v Harald Leitinger (R1) Jonathan Worsley v Matt Clark (R2) Carl Wilkinson v Siepmann/Kciuk (R2) Ted Evetts v Van Peer/Roelofs (R2) Barnard/Brown v Barry/Tabern (R2) Justin Pipe v Shepherd/Leung/Self (R3) Ryan Joyce v Jacques/Teehan/Meeuwisse (R3) Jose De Sousa v Williams/Owen/Gray (R3) Van Duivenbode/Beveridge/Rafferty v Jamie Hughes (R3) Stage Six Aaron Beeney v Wesley Harms (R1) Boris Koltsov v Danny van Trijp (R1) Andrew Davidson v William Borland (R1) Lewis Williams v Robert Owen (R1) Harris/Taylor v Jason Lowe (R2) Atkins/Murray v Christian Bunse (R2) Mike van Duivenbode v Beveridge/Rafferty (R2) Niels Zonneveld v Hamilton/Lynskey (R2) Derry/Kuivenhoven v Gabriel Clemens (R3) Darius Labanauskas v Kantele/Van Duijvenbode (R3) Hayden/J Clark/Richardson/Penhall v Toni Alcinas (R3) Matthew Edgar v Smith-Neale/Cheeseman/McGuirk/Rydz (R3) Stage Seven Martin Atkins v Ryan Murray (R1) Shane McGuirk v Callan Rydz (R1) Wayne Jones v Gary Blades (R1) Berry van Peer v Owen Roelofs (R1) Rowby-John Rodriguez v Askew/Ritchie (R2) Jacques/Teehan v Yordi Meeuwisse (R2) Williams/Owen v Adrian Gray (R2) Burness/Leitinger v Joe Murnan (R2) Martin Schindler v Benito van de Pas (R3) Baker/McGeeney v Boulton/Robinson (R3) Worsley/M Clark v Harris/Taylor/Lowe (R3) Telnekes/Kleermaker/Razma v Heta/Waites/Nentjes (R3) Stage Eight Justin Smith v Andy Jenkins (R1) Derk Telnekes v Martijn Kleermaker (R1) James Richardson v Darren Penhall (R1) Kevin Doets v Alfie Thompson (R1) Huckvale/Burton v Vincent van der Meer (R2) Jones/Blades v Conan Whitehead (R2) Koltsov/Van Trijp v Davidson/Borland (R2) Smith-Neale/Cheeseman v McGuirk/Rydz (R2) Jelle Klaasen v Rodriguez/Askew/Ritchie (R3) Ward/Carlin v Wilkinson/Siepmann/Kciuk (R3) Pallett/Doets/Thompson v Simon Stevenson (R3) Hunt/Sedlacek/Bates v Burness/Leitinger/Murnan (R3) Schedule of Play Friday March 6 Afternoon Session (1100 GMT start – 1200 GMT start on Main Stage) First, Second & Third Rounds Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Fourth Round Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Eight Saturday March 7  Afternoon Session (1230 GMT start) Fifth Round Main Stage, Stage Two & Stages Three-Four Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Sixth Round Main Stage & Stage Two Sunday March 8 Afternoon Session (1245 GMT start) Quarter-Finals Main Stage Evening Session (1900 GMT start) Semi-Finals & Final Main Stage Format First, Second & Third Rounds - Best of 11 legs Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Rounds & Quarter-Finals - Best of 19 legs Semi-Finals & Final - Best of 21 legs Prize Fund Winner - £100,000 Runner-Up - £40,000 Semi-Finalists - £20,000 Quarter-Finalists - £12,500 Sixth Round Losers - £7,500 Fifth Round Losers - £4,000 Fourth Round Losers - £2,000 Third Round Losers - £1,000 Total - £450,000

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