After an outstanding season, Danny Noppert will play in his fifth World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace. This year, 'The Freeze' managed to draw attention to himself by surprisingly winning the UK Open.
That was not the only good result from Noppert, who also won a Pro Tour tournament and reached at least the quarterfinals of a major a total of five times in 2022.
''I definitely had a good year, topped by the UK Open. That was good for the ranking. Over the whole year about 95 average, which is stable'', Noppert looks back in conversation with TOTO Dart Kings.
What he improved most in last season? "Winning matches on stage,'' Noppert said. ''That's where the biggest strides can be made for the rankings, though.''
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That offers opportunities at the World Darts Championship, where Noppert has lost in the second match each time in his four previous appearances but one he always loves.
"I find the World Championship always very special. It always gives a bit of nervousness, but I am really looking forward to it. It would be the icing on the cake of this year if I manage to make it far.''
For Noppert, the World Championship begins on Friday, Dec. 23, with a duel against either Ritchie Edhouse or David Cameron. He knows he is the favorite to eventually get through that match.
''On paper I'm the better player and should win that match. But they are two experienced darters, they also know what to do and also come to win.''
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Further in his part of the draw include Daryl Gurney, James Wade and Gabriel Clemens. Noppert does not expect to reach a final in London for a while, but understands that the expectations are higher than in recent years.
''I am now the number nine in the world, so more is expected of me. Also, maybe I expect a little more of myself. We'll see. I look at it match by match and will not look at who I have to play against in the third, fourth or tenth match,'' Noppert said.