Three Young Darts Players Who Could Be Number One in the Sport
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Three-time world champion Michael van Gerwen has been a dominant figure in darts ever since he won his maiden world title with the PDC in 2014. The Dutchman is a winner of 32 premier events and has been a long way clear at the top of the world rankings for quite some time.
With the emergence of so many talented young players in the game now, though, Mighty Mike is sure to be tested for his number one sport in the PDC Order of Merit. Here is a look at three players that could rise all the way to the top of the rankings.
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Although Michael Smith is 28 years old now, in darts years, he is still young. Bully Boy is a former winner of the PDC Youth World Championship, so his potential has been known for quite a while now. His best run in a tournament so far came at the World Championship back in January where he reached the final, losing to van Gerwen 7-3 in that contest. Smith is 14/1 in the darts betting for the 2020 World Championship, where he will be hoping to go one place better next year. Once he wins his first major title, the trophies are likely to start flowing in fast and his rise up the rankings will pick up even further pace.
Dimitri Van den Bergh
One of the most popular players on the PDC Tour is Dimitri van den Bergh as the Belgian provides the crowd with great entertainment, not just with his walk-on, but his fast style of play at the oche. The 24-year-old moved from the BDO to the PDC in 2014 and that looks to have been a good move for him as he is improving fast due to the quality of opposition he is facing every week. The Dream Maker had his best ever finish at the World Darts Championship in 2020 when he reached the quarter-final at the Alexandra Palace before losing to the eventual champion Rob Cross. Van den Bergh is still looking for his maiden major tournament success but that should arrive soon which will help his confidence massively.
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At 22 years old, Max Hopp is the youngest player inside the top 32 of the PDC’s Order of Merit where he has been a huge emerging star over the last couple of years. Hopp won the 2015 PDC World Youth Championship and it hasn’t taken him long to compete on the professional tour. The German had a fantastic run in the 2020 European Championship where he reached the semi-final of the premier event with the PDC. Victories over William O’Connor, James Wilson and Darren Webster helped him reach the last four before bowing out to James Wade 11-10 in a close tussle. Hopp has many years ahead of him in the sport and if he continues to improve at the rate he is doing now, he is sure to have a big future in the game.
Look out for all three of the above players at the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship which begins on December 12.