Michael van Gerwen rues missing match darts after exit to Rob Cross
Last Updated: 31/12/17 2:37pm
Michael van Gerwen admitted he felt "sick" after he missed six match darts in a thrilling World Championship semi-final defeat to Rob Cross at Alexandra Palace.
The world No 1, aiming to claim a third world title, appeared well positioned to book a meeting with Phil Taylor in the final when leading 5-4, but uncharacteristically missed five match darts to allow Cross to force a final leg shoot-out.
Cross, in his debut professional year, initially missed double 16 to secure victory but made no mistake the second time around, closing the match with double eight, after Van Gerwen had let a sixth opportunity go begging.
When asked to explain the missed darts for the match, Van Gerwen told RTL7: "I think this is just his year.
"He had the luck going for him. It's that simple. Those doubles were so close on the wire. I'm sick about that.
"Normally that doesn't happen to me and I'm the only one to blame for it. My scoring was good at the right moment but my doubles let me down. I can only blame myself for that."
Van Gerwen, who averaged 102.44 in the contest, lifted Cross' arms in the air at the conclusion of the match in recognition of the Englishman's performance.
"Of course he's a great winner," said Van Gerwen about Cross. "But I think I deserved to win this match to be quite honest.
"I had six match darts and normally I don't miss that many."
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The 2014 and 2017 champion was booed by sections of the crowd during stages of the match, but refused to apportion any blame away from his own performance.
When asked whether this was one of the most painful moments of his career, Van Gerwen said: "Yes, of course. I hate losing, especially on this tournament.
"I think I was better than Rob but on the important moments I could (not) bring something extra.
"But missing these doubles was extremely painful. There was nothing I could do about it. He played really well, all credit to him.
"But I should have won this. I can only blame myself and nobody else. I don't like saying it was because of the crowd or other things.
"I missed those doubles and it was my fault."
The 2018 World Championship from Alexandra Palace reaches its dramatic conclusion on New Year's Day with the final live on Sky Sports Darts, coverage gets underway from 8pm
Keep up to date with the news as the PDC celebrates 25 years on Sky Sports, right through to the final on New Year's Day. Get all the latest at www.skysports.com/darts and join in the conversation @SkySportsDarts- don't forget to use #LoveTheDarts
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