Trina Gulliver MBE is the most decorated darts player in the women's game, having won the BDO World Darts Championship on ten different occasions. She heads to the 36th Dutch Open in confident mood and will be aiming to bounce back following last year's disappointing second-round exit at the hands of Lorraine Winstanley. Deta Hedman sealed 2017's title with a nervy victory over Lisa Ashton and will once again be the player to beat in this year's tournament.
Trina Gulliver has enjoyed plenty of success at this event, securing the title five times - although her last triumph here came back in 2013. A tough-looking draw has hindered her chances over the past couple of years and she'll be keeping her fingers crossed for an easier passage in 2018. The number of entries for this year's competition has increased to 346, but it is likely to be the usual protagonists who are left standing at the business end of the tournament.
So, who is likely to stand in the way of Trina Gulliver wrapping up her sixth title in the Netherlands?
The Jamaican-born player is always tough to beat and after only reaching the semi-final of the BDO World Championship at Lakeside, she will be determined to get back to her winning ways. She is a two-time winner of this event and has enjoyed the monopoly over the Golden Girl during recent meetings. They last met at this tournament in 2016, with Hedman comprehensively outplaying her opponent to seal a 4-0 success. The Dark Destroyer is defending her crown and whilst the two-time winner will be confident of making it back-to-back titles, she is the player that everyone wants to beat and could just fall short on this occasion.
Lorraine Winstanley was responsible for Trina's exit in this competition last year and will once again be a dominant force. She will have been disappointed with her performance at Lakeside as she rarely threatened Anastasia Dobromyslova when crashing to a surprise 2-0 defeat against the Russian. She'd previously eased through the early rounds but couldn't progress beyond the quarter-finals. She has a tremendous pedigree in this competition, having reached the final on three occasions but has never managed to get over the line.
The sport has witnessed a number of surprises in recent years and there could be a plethora of dangerous players lurking in the draw. In the PDC, very few would have expected Rob Cross to beat Michael Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor en-route to securing the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day. As of the 24th of January, Betway have already installed the former electrician as 3/1 second favourite for next year's event, whilst the 26-year-old is also 7/2 to come out on top in the Premier League. This could be the tournament in which a new name makes a name for herself - although determining exactly who will make the breakthrough is always a tricky process. Anca Zijlstra will be hoping to use the home crowd to her advantage and could rival fellow natives Sharon Prins and Aileen de Graaf here. Fallon Sherlock showed some flashes of promise at the BDO World Championship and could make an impact at the De Bonte Wever in Assen.
The Dutch Open gets underway at the beginning of February and it's set to be another fascinating tournament. Trina Gulliver always enjoys competing in this event and with a number of players making an impression at the World Championship, the field looks extremely competitive once again.