Newly crowned German Darts Open champion Max Hopp is up to 40th in the world after clinching his first senior PDC title with a thrilling deciding-leg victory over Michael Smith on a watershed night for the sport of darts in Germany.
The 2015 World Youth champion came through Thursday’s qualifiers to seal his spot in Saarbrucken, before defeating the Premier League trio of Peter Wright, Rob Cross and Michael Smith en route to his fairy-tale triumph.
Hopp was roared on to victory by over 3,000 fans as he became the first ever German player to win a PDC ranking title, which all but confirms his qualification for this year’s World Matchplay and World Grand Prix. It also lifts him up to 40th in the world- his highest ranking position since November 2016.
Michael van Gerwen’s lead at the top of the Order of Merit has fallen to just below £1m after his 20-match winning run on the European Tour was ended by an inspired Ian White in the quarter-finals. Peter Wright remains in second, despite suffering a surprise second-round exit to eventual champion Hopp.
World champion Rob Cross, who departed in the semi-finals, remains in third ahead of two-time world champion Gary Anderson, World Grand Prix winner Daryl Gurney and Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic.
Dave Chisnall is seventh after his last 16 exit in Saarbrucken, whilst Simon Whitlock occupies eighth; despite pulling out of the weekend’s event due to illness. Nevertheless, Michael Smith has closed the gap on ‘The Wizard’ to less than £3,000 and would have climbed above him if he had triumphed in the dramatic finale.
Smith leapfrogged eight-time major winner James Wade courtesy of his run to the final, but ‘The Machine’ still maintains his top ten status having recorded back-to-back semi-final appearances in the previous two European Tour events.
Gerwyn Price continued his impressive response since suffering Premier League elimination to reach the quarter-finals in Germany, which sees him leapfrog five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld in the world rankings. Van Barneveld is down one place to 12th, whilst Ian White remains 13th after his run to the semi-finals.
Kim Huybrechts still sits in 14th position, despite missing his first European Tour event since it’s inception after losing in Thursday’s European qualifiers. Alan Norris trails ‘The Hurricane’ by less than £4,000 in 15th, whilst Benito van de Pas has slipped to 16th, having reached the final in Saarbrucken twelve months ago.
Darren Webster is just £6,750 away from breaking into the world’s top 16, whilst Jelle Klaasen and Joe Cullen remain in 18th and 19th positions respectively. Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis is another non-mover in 20th. ‘Jackpot’ made successive Pro Tour finals in Barnsley last weekend, but failed to qualify for the German Darts Open.
Photo Credit: Kelly Deckers/PDC Europe
|1||Michael van Gerwen||£1,730,000|
|12||Raymond van Barneveld||£271,000|
|16||Benito van de Pas||£227,500|
|34||Vincent van der Voort||£124,250|
|36||Dimitri Van den Bergh||£111,000|
|57||Jeffrey de Graaf||£52,500|
|76||Jeffrey de Zwaan||£22,000|