Tuesday 17 April 2018

Hopp's improvement

One thing that I didn't mention in the previous post is that Hopp's now going to be positioned in or very near to the top 16 on the Pro Tour rankings - I think I read he's #17, but with Gary Anderson above him who's taking the whole European Tour off, that should make Hopp seeded, freeing up a spot in the home nation qualifiers, which is obviously great news for all the domestic qualifiers in the myriad of German events.

So how much better is Hopp playing now than he used to be? Let's compare some stats - let's look at the year through to Players Championship 6, and then from the European Darts Open onwards.

In the first sample, he really wasn't playing very well at all. He was losing more legs than he was winning with a 98-101 record, barely winning 40% of those legs won in five visits, and he had an overall average points per turn of 87.55, a good two points behind Schindler and three behind Clemens just looking at his compatriots. Other people in the 87 bracket included the likes of Adam Huckvale, Michael Rasztovits, Luke Woodhouse and Mike de Decker.

In the second sample, he's winning consistently more than he's losing with a 114-83 record, claiming just short of 60% of legs within fifteen darts, a huge improvement from below mediocre to getting towards the top echelons of the game. His real quick leg speed, the twelve darter, which he's always been able to get now and then out of nowhere even when throwing trash, didn't change at all, stuck on 7%, but keeping that constant and bumping up the par legs is enough for him to raise his average points per turn up to 90.70 - back up to Germany's number one, but Schindler's third less than a quarter of a point per turn behind, so while he has a hugely larger sample size than him and Clemens, he's not blowing them away. Other players on 90 include Steve West, Chris Dobey, Johnny Clayton and Simon Whitlock. Not bad company.

Next up we have the Austrian event, which van Gerwen has apparently withdrawn from to concentrate on the Premier League - which apparently bumps all the seeds up a spot and brings someone in from the rest of the field to make up the sixteenth seed, who that is being a spot unclear but we'll see. It does also mean that there'll be five Austrian spots, so there'll be Rodriguezes everywhere, much fun.

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