Max Hopp wins first senior PDC title by landing German Darts Open success

Max Hopp

Max Hopp won his maiden senior PDC title as he claimed an emotional – and equally dramatic - 8-7 victory over Michael Smith in the German Open Darts final.

The 21-year-old favourite also defeated Premier League stars Peter Wright and Rob Cross during his fairytale weekend which also sees him become the first German to win a European Tour title.

Hopp was underdog in his semi-final with world champion Cross but held his nerve to take out 121 on the bullseye to win 7-6 and set up a clash with the on-fire Smith.

Remarkably, he repeated the trick in the deciding leg of a thrilling final to send the 3,000-strong German crowd wild and it was no surprise to see Hopp break down in tears at the trophy ceremony.

Hopp's journey had to start during the home nation qualifiers on Thursday and having battled his way through those he started his campaign with a convincing victory over Zoran Lerchbacher before seeing off defending champion Wright on Saturday.

On the final day he edged past 2017 finalist Benito van de Pas and then Joe Cullen prior to his heroics against Cross and Smith.

The young German looked to be running out of steam as he trailed Bully Boy 3-0 and 6-4 but back-to-back 14-darters saw him level at 6-6.

As pressure mounted, Smith moved to within one leg of the title only for Hopp to force a decider in which he sparked pandemonium in the Saarlandhalle with his 121 finish on the bull.

It was also a dramatic day for Michael van Gerwen, who first had to battle back from 4-1 down to beat Alan Tabern 6-4 but he crashed out in the next round as Ian White crushed him 6-2.

The Englishman, who had earlier whitewashed Dave Chisnall, averaged 105.92 and landed six of his seven double attempts to beat van Gerwen.

White was later thrashed 7-1 in the semi-finals by a rampant Smith, who averaged 107.24 and landed 78% of his doubles.

Bully Boy's route to the final had seen him defeat Jelle Klaasen and Mervyn King while Cross also looked in good shape against Darren Webster and Gerwyn Price before running into the 2015 World Youth Champion.

German Darts Open Results

Sunday April 15
Afternoon Session
Third Round (best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Alan Tabern
  • Dave Chisnall 0-6 Ian White
  • Daryl Gurney 5-6 Mervyn King
  • Michael Smith 6-3 Jelle Klaasen
  • Max Hopp 6-4 Benito van de Pas
  • Joe Cullen 6-2 Daniel Larsson
  • Mensur Suljovic 5-6 Gerwyn Price
  • Rob Cross 6-4 Darren Webster

Evening Session
Quarter-Finals (best of 11 legs)

  • Michael van Gerwen 2-6 Ian White
  • Mervyn King 5-6 Michael Smith
  • Max Hopp 6-4 Joe Cullen
  • Gerwyn Price 1-6 Rob Cross

Semi-Finals (best of 13 legs)

  • Ian White 1-7 Michael Smith
  • Max Hopp 7-6 Rob Cross

Final (best of 15 legs)

  • Michael Smith 7-8 Max Hopp


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