London First world class Man defeated van den Berg, then lost to outsider Smith: The World Cup in London has ended for German darts professional Florian Hempel. The annual balance is nonetheless positive.
Florian Hempel’s amazing World Cup debut came to an abrupt end after a short Christmas break. The German darts professional lost 4–1 to Australian Raymond Smith in London.
Hempel retired almost a week after an unexpected third-round win over Belgian world-class player Dimitri van den Bergh. The German was the favorite in the duel after a win over compatriot Martin Schindler and co-favorite van den Berg, but was inferior to Smith from the start and thus missed the second German to reach the second round at the World Cup after Gabriel Clemens.
“These are happy days for me. It worked out very well for me,” said the Australian after his clear win. “It is going great, I am happy with my game.” Hempel, on the other hand, said He left the stage at “Alli Palli” after an appearance mixed with a sad look.
Hempel missed many chances
Hempel – the former handball goalkeeper in the second division – this time looked nervous, flawed and had significantly fewer triple hits than in his previous two appearances, which he made surprisingly strong. He quickly waved his hand dissatisfied, the first two sentences relatively quickly going to Smith, who had not achieved any major success with the PDC World Federation prior to the World Championships at Alexandra Palace. Even after that, Hempel missed many chances and had to give up on hard-working legs time and time again.
The 31-year-old from Cologne missed his chance to become the first German to win three games at a World Cup – Clemens did not succeed this past year as he started with a bye.
Hempel could still leave the British capital satisfied. In its first year it earned £49,000 and gained attention with many successes. He defeated former world champion Peter Wright of Scotland at the European Championships in October, before two victories on the world’s biggest darts stage. He called the 3–1 victory against van den Berg “the biggest win of my career”.
Hop can now lose tour card
While Smith had to deal with Steve Lennon (Ire), the winner of the game against Mervyn King (England) in the round of 16 (from 29 December), Hempel also missed an assist to his compatriot Max Hope. It could now lose the so-called Tour card if Aussie Smith wins another game and displaces him from the required 64th place in the world rankings. The Tour Card entitles players to participate in important PDC tournaments. “I don’t even think about it,” commented the Australian.
Prior to Smith, Dirk van Dujvenbod of the Netherlands and former English World Cup finalist Michael Smith had already bought tickets for the Round of 16. James Wade received a bye in the third round as his rival Vincent van der Voort of the Netherlands tested positive for the coronavirus.
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