Hempel learned to have less respect for status of opponent: 'It makes a different of one or two percent'

Florian Hempel is one of the seven German players on the PDC Tour during this season. The 30-year-old from Cologne earned a Tour Card during European Q-School in Niedernhausen earlier this month.

Hempel claimed success twice during the Q-School. Firstly during the first stage to qualify for the final stage. As a result, he did not have to play all qualifying tournaments and Hempel had a day of rest before starting the final stage.

"I used the evening after qualifying (for the final stage) for some fun. Sitting with people with a cold drink. I did not have to look at the clock, because the day after, I had a day of rest'', Hempel told Dartn.de.

Compared to previous years, Hempel had a completely different preparation for the Q-School. Also in a mental sense, which increased confidence in obtaining a Tour Card. Part of that was not showing too much respect for the opponent.

“If I have learned one thing in darts, it is to respect your opponent during the match. But at the same time I have to forget the respect I have for the status of my opponent. For a player like Raymond van Barneveld, for example. It makes a difference of one or two percent.''

During the final stage there was another victory for Hempel, which earned him a Tour Card for 2021 and 2022. During this tournament he beat the likes of Niels Zonneveld, Martin Schindler, John Michael and Luc Peters. In the semi-finals against Michael, Hempel even averaged over 101.

Self-confidence grew as the day progressed. "For example, I led 4-2 against John Michael and made 5-2 after hitting a 180 in that leg, before finishing the match with a 10-dart leg. Things like that increase self-confidence. ''

The German is set to make his Pro Tour debut this week already, as the first Players Championship events will be played from February 25-28 at the PDC Super Series in Bolton. This means Hempel doesn't have time to let his Tour Card success sink in and to look for sponsors.

“I don't even have time to worry about sponsors. The plane will already go to England on Wednesday, because the first Players Championship tournaments will be played there (February 25-28). Next comes the UK Open and you need a perfect preparation for that. When that is all over, I can focus on other things.''

Hempel does not want to put too much pressure on himself to perform well at the PDC tournaments. Although he does know that he has to establish himself in the top 64 within two years to be allowed to keep his Tour Card after 2022.

"I'm not going to say that I have to bring in five thousand pounds right away for the ranking. If it happens, that's great. If not, there will be another event after that, and then another. The pressure will only increase when it turns out at the end of my two-year Tour Card period that I still need prize money to keep my Tour Card. In the beginning I want to have fun on the one hand and acclimatize myself to the circumstances.''

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