World Darts Championship Tips: Hempel's dream debut to continue

Florian Hempel Darts
Hempel is enjoying a dream debut at the Ally Pally

It's time for the darting drama to resume at the Alexandra Palace and Abigail Davies expects Germany's new star to shine once more...

"A former handball player, Hempel didn't pick up a dart until 2017 and now finds himself in the last 32 of the biggest event of the year. If he starts yelling and celebrating ferociously up on stage, we may have found the German Gerwyn Price!"

As we head into the business end of the World Darts Championship, Gerwyn Price remains the outright favourite to retain the title he won 12 months ago at 10/3 while Michael Smith who delivered a sublime second round performance is in at 18/1 to win his maiden TV major on January 3rd.

Hempel could be the German Price

In the months leading up to the World Championship, Florian Hempel is one player who has really caught my attention.

From beating the likes of Nathan Aspinall, Daryl Gurney and Adrian Lewis in floor tournaments and winning his first match in front of the television cameras against Peter Wright to singing along to his own walk-on music as he took to the Ally Pally stage, it's quite clear to see that the man has the credentials to deliver.

A former handball player, Hempel didn't pick up a dart until 2017 and now finds himself in the last 32 of the biggest event of the year. If he starts yelling and celebrating ferociously up on stage, we may have found the German Gerwyn Price!

He told me after beating Dimitri Van den Bergh that the main attribute that he is able to bring across from playing a different sport is the ability to perform in front of big crowds and not get nervous - we're certainly seeing that at the moment.

Even though his rival in the third round, Raymond Smith, has an impressive 57.58 checkout percentage after two games, at 6/4 the bet that stands out to me is Hempel most 180s, highest checkout andamp; win.

Never underestimate a Ferret

Ferret Getty 2.jpg

If you look at Jonny Clayton's results from previous years at the Alexandra Palace, it's astonishing to think that he had never averaged 96 or over in this tournament, never made it past the last 32 and never dealt with the magnitude of the occasion as we've come to expect him to.

We all know that he is a different beast since winning the World Cup with Price and that was clear to see in his win over Keane Barry.

Clayton was forced to produce his best against the Irish teenager, between them they took out an astonishing 10 ton plus finishes in what was one of the best games of the tournament so far.

The way the Welshman was able to turn that game around was proof that he now sees himself as a genuine contender and that he can find that extra level when he really needs to.

Both Clayton and his next opponent Gabriel Clemens are frequent 180 hitters and are in the top 10 for most hit in Players Championship events in 2021. I'm backing 13 or more total 180s at 1/1.

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