Hopp makes history at the European Championship as Webster denies Reyes in last-leg thriller

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 28 Oct 2018
Hopp celebrates another landmark win (credit:Kelly Deckers/PDC)

Max Hopp became the first German to reach the Quarter-Finals of a PDC major after a 10-7 victory over James Wilson in the European Championship on Saturday, as Darren Webster, Gerwyn Price and James Wade also progressed.

Hopp, who claimed a historic triumph at the German Darts Open earlier this year, continued his ground-breaking campaign by booking his place in the Last Eight in Dortmund.

The 22-year-old reeled off four consecutive legs from 7-6 down to deny Wilson and delight a 7,000-strong crowd at the Westfalenhallen.

A tight battle saw Wilson take out 120 as he shared the opening 12 legs with Hopp, before moving 7-6 up as the tension rose.

However, the German ace levelled with a brilliant ten-dart finish, capitalising on a miss from Wilson to break and move 8-7 up and then took out a stunning 156 finish before sealing the win on double 16.

"It's a big relief for me to finally make that step," said Hopp.

"I was really nervous. All the German fans got behind me and it's a big bonus to have that crowd - but I expect myself to play better.

"I didn't play the game I wanted to but I had some good moments - the ten-darter and the 156 finish. The 156 made a big difference and I'll take the positives from the match and focus on the final day.

"I want to play proper stuff and I feel like now I've reached the Quarter-Final and I'm closer to my goals I probably can relax on the final day."

Hopp will now face Webster in Sunday's Quarter-Finals after the Norwich ace produced a memorable 156 checkout of his own to claim a superb 10-9 win over Cristo Reyes.

Webster looked on course to cruise into the quarter-finals of the event for the first time when he pulled clear from 4-3 to lead 7-3.

Reyes, though, followed an earlier 104 checkout with a ten-darter among five straight legs to move ahead at 8-7, and then bounced back from going 9-8 down to take out a brilliant 145 to force a decider.

Webster, though, bettered that with his outstanding 156 combination to book his spot in Sunday's final stages.

"I'm delighted," said Webster. "If you make one mistake now they punish you and Cristo did that.
 
"I should have run away with it but I missed a few things and he came back at me, and I kept control of myself.
 
"He hit the 145 and normally I'd panic but I know I can produce it now under pressure. That's the difference between me now and two or three years ago.
 
"There's more to come from me, I'm still learning and if you want to get better you have to do everything you can.
 
"I'm loving every minute of it. Anything I do at my age is a stand-out performance but I'm getting better and better. I'm treating it like a job and the others are in trouble."
 
Wade proved too strong for Ricky Evans as he continued his bid to win a first televised title for almost four years with a 10-5 success.
 
After Evans broke in the opening leg, Wade reeled off seven straight legs, including four 14-dart finishes, as he took command of the tie.
 
Evans landed a 106 finish among back-to-back legs as he hit back to 8-5, but Wade sealed victory in brilliant fashion by completing a pair of 12-darters with checkouts of 130 and 121.
 
"I played okay and I've done enough to get through, but I made it hard work at times," admitted new father Wade, who now plays Price.
 
"I'm looking forward to my next game now. Gerwyn is a flamboyant and entertaining player but I will focus on my own game.
 
"Since the birth of my son I'm not worry as much and I can get on with darts. It's a slow process and I'm starting to enjoy darts again."
 
Wade's quarter-final opponent will be Gerwyn Price - who won through to his first European Championship quarter-final with a 10-5 success against Dave Chisnall.
 
After opening the tie with a 180 as he broke in the opening leg, Price maintained his advantage in the early stages before pulling clear from 4-3 to lead 8-3 with the aid of checkouts of 90, 72 and 126.
 
Chisnall hit back to 8-5, but a 70 finish from Price moved him a leg away from the win before he took out 86 to seal his last eight spot.
 
Price - also a quarter-finalist in the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix this year - has been forced to use a new set of darts after his suitcase was lost when returning from Dublin earlier this month.
 
However, he is hoping to capture his maiden TV title on Sunday after backing up his opening win over Kyle Anderson with a solid second round success.
 
"I was a bit anxious - I didn't know how these darts were going to go," said Price. "I haven't been scoring very well but I finished well.
 
"I changed my darts again today because I wasn't scoring very well with the other set that I had, but to come out with a 180 was a good start and I built from there.
 
"I played with a lot more rhythm today, I was a lot more fluent and I'm happy with the way I played but I need to build on this and hopefully improve over the next day.
 
"I've been to the UK Open final, and hopefully I can go one step further this time. It's wide open but I need to play a lot better if I'm going to win this tournament."

Unibet European Championship 2018 Results


Saturday October 28

Second Round

Gerwyn Price 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Cristo Reyes 9-10 Darren Webster
James Wade 10-5 Ricky Evans
Max Hopp 10-7 James Wilson

European Championship Outright Odds with Unibet

Rob Cross 9/5
James Wade 4/1
Gerwyn Price 13/2
Simon Whitlock 7/1
Darren Webster 9/1
Joe Cullen 10/1
Steve West 10/1
Max Hopp 12/1



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Hopp makes history at the European Championship as Webster denies Reyes in last-leg thriller

Max Hopp became the first German to reach the Quarter-Finals of a PDC major after a 10-7 victory over James Wilson in the European Championship on Saturday, as Darren Webster, Gerwyn Price and James Wade also progressed.

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