Rob Cross reflects on tough year after World Championship exit
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 29/12/18 6:02pm
Rob Cross believes he has learnt a lot from his time as world champion after seeing his title defence end at Alexandra Palace.
Cross, who defeated Phil Taylor in the final on debut 12 months ago, threw away a two-set lead on his way to a 4-2 defeat against Luke Humphries and a shock last-16 exit on Friday evening.
'Voltage' had posted ton-plus averages in his opening two victories over Jeffrey de Zwaan and Cristo Reyes, but he was unable to find that spark against 'Cool Hand'.
"Obviously I'm disappointed," Cross told Sky Sports Darts. "I wasn't scoring right, but fair play to Luke (Humphries) - he played great. If I'm honest, I felt a bit fatigued, but that was about it.
"This year has been tough for me and it has been the harshest learning curve that I'll probably have in my life. At the same time, I've got so much more to give and can get so much better, so we'll look to next year now.
"I'll go home, spend some time with my family, do a bit of work on my new place and go and enjoy normal life away from darts. If I can do that, then I'll be fine next year."
The second seed did not drop a leg in the opening set and capitalised on missed darts from his opponent to take the second in a final-leg decider, only for Humphries to come back and win the next four sets to book his place in the last four.
Cross fired five 180s and posted a 97.28 average - lower than he managed during the previous two rounds - with the Englishman admitting he could have lost by a bigger margin.
"I don't think my scoring was good all the way through in fairness," Cross added. "When you're having to checkout 100+ for 15-darters, you know you're off.
"I was 2-0 up but came back out and didn't find anything. I felt so flat up there, all the game really. Even though I hit the 100+ finishes, they were the only ones that kept me in the game. Without that, I would've lost 4-0.
"It's going to hurt, but I'm going to bounce back next year and I have the monkey off my back now, so I'll be alright."
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