MAX HOPP created history by reaching the Unibet European Championship quarter-finals with a memorable 10-7 win over James Wilson as Darren Webster, Gerwyn Price and James Wade also enjoyed second round wins on Saturday
Former World Youth Champion Hopp became the first German player to reach the last eight of a televised PDC singles event with his success, delighting a 7,000-plus crowd in Dortmund with the triumph.
A tight battle saw Wilson take out 120 as he shared the opening 12 legs with Hopp, before moving 7-6 up as the tension rose.
However, the German ace levelled with a brilliant ten-dart finish, capitalised on a miss from Wilson to break and move 8-7 up and then took out a stunning 156 finish before sealing the win on double 16.
"It's a big relief for me to finally make that step," said Hopp, after guaranteeing his last eight spot.
"I was really nervous. All the German fans got behind me and it's a big bonus to have that crowd - but I expect myself to play better.
"I didn't play the game I wanted to but I had some good moments - the ten-darter and the 156 finish. The 156 made a big difference and I'll take the positives from the match and focus on the final day.
"I want to relax and play the game I know I can."
Hopp will now face a quarter-final tie on Sunday afternoon against Webster, who produced a memorable 156 checkout of his own to claim a superb 10-9 win over Cristo Reyes.
Webster looked on course to cruise into the quarter-finals of the event for the first time when he pulled clear from 4-3 to lead 7-3.
Reyes, though, followed an earlier 104 checkout with a ten-darter amongst five straight legs to move ahead at 8-7, and then bounced back from going 9-8 down to take out a brilliant 145 to force a decider.
Webster, though, bettered that with his outstanding 156 combination to book his spot in Sunday's final stages.
"I'm delighted," said Webster. "If you make one mistake now they punish you and Cristo did that.
"I should have run away with it but I missed a few things and he came back at me, and I kept control of myself.
"He hit the 145 and normally I'd panic but I know I can produce it now under pressure. That's the difference between me now and two or three years ago.
"There's more to come from me, I'm still learning and if you want to get better you have to do everything you can.
"I'm loving every minute of it. Anything I do at my age is a stand-out performance but I'm getting better and better. I'm treating it like a job and the others are in trouble."
James Wade proved too strong for Ricky Evans as he continued his bid to win a first televised title for almost four years with a 10-5 success.
After Evans broke in the opening leg, Wade reeled off seven straight legs, including four 14-dart finishes, as he took command of the tie.
Evans landed a 106 finish amongst back-to-back legs as he hit back to 8-5, but Wade sealed victory in brilliant fashion by completing a pair of 12-darters with checkouts of 130 and 121.
"I played okay and I've done enough to get through, but I made it hard work at times," admitted new father Wade, who now plays Price.
"I'm looking forward to my next game now. Gerwyn is a flamboyant and entertaining player but I will focus on my own game.
"Since the birth of my son I'm not worry as much and I can get on with darts. It's a slow process and I'm starting to enjoy darts again."
Wade's quarter-final opponent will be Gerwyn Price, who won through to his first European Championship quarter-final with a 10-5 success against Dave Chisnall.
After opening the tie with a 180 as he broke in the opening leg, Price maintained his advantage in the early stages before pulling clear from 4-3 to lead 8-3 with the aid of checkouts of 90, 72 and 126.
Chisnall hit back to 8-5, but a 70 finish from Price moved him a leg away from the win before he took out 86 to seal his last eight spot.
Price - also a quarter-finalist in the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix this year - has been forced to use a new set of darts after his suitcase was lost when returning from Dublin earlier this month.
However, he is hoping to capture his maiden TV title on Sunday after backing up his opening win over Kyle Anderson with a solid second round success.
"I was a bit anxious - I didn't know how these darts were going to go," said Price. "I haven't been scoring very well but I finished well.
"I changed my darts again today because I wasn't scoring very well with the other set that I had, but to come out with a 180 was a good start and I built from there.
"I played with a lot more rhythm today, I was a lot more fluent and I'm happy with the way I played but I need to build on this and hopefully improve over the next day.
"I've been to the UK Open final, and hopefully I can go one step further this time. It's wide open but I need to play a lot better if I'm going to win this tournament."
Sunday afternoon's other quarter-finals see World Champion Rob Cross - last year's runner-up - meet Joe Cullen and 2012 European Championship winner Simon Whitlock taking on Steve West.
The £400,000 tournament then concludes on Sunday evening with the semi-finals and final at the Westfalenhalle.
Watch live on ITV4 in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners and in PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers.
Following the conclusion of the second round, Cross is the 9/5 tournament favourite with sponsors Unibet, with Wade 4/1, Price 13/2 and Whitlock 7/1.
Webster is 9/1 to claim his maiden TV title, with Cullen and West both rated at 10/1 ahead of outsider Hopp (12/1).
Unibet European Championship
Saturday October 27
Gerwyn Price 10-5 Dave Chisnall
Darren Webster 10-9 Cristo Reyes
James Wade 10-5 Ricky Evans
Max Hopp 10-7 James Wilson
Sunday October 28
Afternoon Session (1345 local time, 1245 UK time)
Steve West v Simon Whitlock
Joe Cullen v Rob Cross
Darren Webster v Max Hopp
James Wade v Gerwyn Price
Best of 19 legs
Evening Session (2000 local time, 1900 UK time)
West/Whitlock v Cullen/Cross
Webster/Hopp v Wade/Price
Best of 21 legs
Best of 21 legs