Huge Leap For Hopp!

Max Hopp (Kelly Deckers, PDC)

MAX HOPP'S remarkable German Darts Open triumph is set to be a breakthrough moment in the former World Youth Champion's career.

The 21-year-old claimed his first senior title by snatching victory over Michael Smith in Sunday's European Tour event in Saarbrucken, to the delight of a 3,000-strong German crowd.

Hopp hit back from 3-0 down before taking out 121 in the deciding leg of a thrilling final in Saarbrucken - finally giving German darts a ranking event winner following the sport's huge growth in the country over the past decade.

The £25,000 top prize will also prove significant for Hopp both in terms of his status on the PDC Order of Merit and in the qualification race for televised events.

Hopp is now in pole position for qualification via the ProTour Order of Merit for the BetVictor World Matchplay, Unibet World Grand Prix and William Hill World Darts Championship.

He has also assured himself of a spot in the Unibet European Championship in Dortmund, and occupies a reserve position for bwin Grand Slam of Darts qualification.

The win is also a huge confidence boost for the youngster ahead of next month's German Darts Masters event, with the World Series of Darts event being held on Friday May 25 at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.