Rob Cross said he feels ‘brilliant’ after making a winning start to his defence of the William Hill World Darts Championship title.
The St Leonards-based thrower came from behind to defeat Jeffrey De Zwaan by three sets to one in a thrilling second round clash at Alexandra Palace, London, last night (Thursday).
In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Cross said: “Jeffrey was brilliant and I have to admit first set I wasn’t even in it.
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“Second set I managed to pin the 96 (to win the set) and get myself back into it, and just cruised to the end, but he played brilliantly and what a special player he’s going to be.
“I knew I was up against it. As soon as I went in from the first set I was a bit upset with myself, I thought I need to pull my socks up and go again, which I did.”
The performance and result represented a welcome return to form for Cross, who has endured a lean time on the Professional Darts Corporation ProTour over the last couple of months.
“Leading up to this I’ve practised, I’ve done my normal routine and I feel brilliant,” he continued. “I had to graft there and it was nice to have the gears to go through to get the win. He played so well, but it was nice to pull through.
“I know I’ve got a bit more in the tank. In the last three months I’ve been poor. There’s been a lot going on and I’ve not really adapted myself the way I should, but from now on I will.”
The world number two remains unbeaten on the Alexandra Palace stage and he will be eager to continue that proud record when he plays his third round match on Sunday December 23.
“I love this place, not just because I won - it’s special,” Cross added. “It’s nice to be back to me. I’ve got some family time and I’m loving it. I’ve got another 10 days so I can’t moan.”