2019 Betfred World Matchplay – Michael Smith vs Max Hopp Preview & Prediction
When is Michael Smith vs Max Hopp taking place? Tuesday 23rd July, 2019
Where is Michael Smith vs Max Hopp taking place? Winter Gardens, Blackpool
What channel is Michael Smith vs Max Hopp on? Sky Sports Action
Where can I stream Michael Smith vs Max Hopp? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Where can I get tickets for Michael Smith vs Max Hopp? Check https://www.pdc.tv/betfred-world-matchplay-tickets for ticket information
All-time meetings: Michael Smith 2-2 Max Hopp
Last meeting: Michael Smith 6-5 Max Hopp
- Michael Smith came from behind to defeat Jamie Hughes 10-7 in a high-quality opening round contest. Smith had trailed 6-3 against an opponent who was averaging 104, but managed to win seven out of the next eight legs to earn a hard-fought win.
- The number five seed ended his match against Hughes with an average of just under 99 and a checkout percentage of over 52%, and he impressively sealed victory with back-to-back checkouts of 120 and 130 in the final two legs of the match.
- He is looking to break new ground and reach the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay for the first time in his career having lost to Phil Taylor, Steve Beaton and Dave Chisnall in his three previous second round appearances. Last year, he led Chizzy 7-1 at this stage of the tournament only to lose 11-8.
- German star Max Hopp came through an epic encounter against Dave Chisnall in round one when he eventually won 11-9 having trailed 7-4 at one stage of a contest in which Chizzy hit ten 180s.
- A highlight of Hopp’s performance against Chisnall was his cool finishing which included a key 96 checkout to pull the scores back to 7-6 and an impressive 100 finish which forced the game into extra-legs.
- When Hopp won the biggest senior PDC title of his career at the German Darts Open in April 2018, he came from behind to defeat Michael Smith 8-7 in a thrilling final, winning the title with a bullseye finish at the end of a 121 checkout.
The second round begins with a match between two former PDC World Youth Championship winners who were forced to come from behind to win very tough opening round matches. There was certainly plenty to admire about how they both performed at key moments in the first round, though it could be said that Hopp had to be grateful for some wasteful finishing from Chisnall before he took his chances. Smith is certainly at a more advanced stage of his career than Hopp with much more experience in major tournaments which could prove to be a pivotal factor. Expect a gutsy showing from Hopp but ultimately Smith is likely to be too strong, especially in the scoring department, and the St. Helens man is tipped to make it through to the last eight.