For Florian Hempel, the Darts World Cup is also about staying on the tour of the world association PDC. The 33-year-old from Cologne will play against Irishman Dylan Slevin in the evening (8 p.m./Sport1 and DAZN) and is considered the favorite. In order to still have a chance of defending his own Tour Card, Hempel has to win.
"I need the tour card to be there next year. But it's not primarily in my head. You can put a lot of pressure on yourself just by thinking about it. I think I handled the situation quite well to accept," Hempel told the dpa.
Even a win over Slevin might not be enough to slip into the top 64 in the rankings. Then an additional win against the Belgian world class man Dimitri van den Bergh would be needed in round two. If Hempel doesn't make it into the top 64, he has to prove himself in the so-called Q-School in January and get the Tour Card back.
But initially only Alexandra Palace in north London counts. "I associate everything with this competition venue. The World Cup is the highlight in the darts calendar. Just the word World Cup, the Ally Pally - the entire package is something unique. The number of spectators explodes every year," said Hempel. He successfully contested his World Cup debut in 2022 and 2023.