Rob Cross defeated Phil Taylor 7-2 in his first season as a professional to win Darts World Cup in London. Englishman Taylor lost the final of the Darts World Championship at the end of his career. It would have been his 17th world title.
In addition to the Sid Waddell trophy, the 27-year-old Cross received a winner’s check for the equivalent of 450,000 euros for his triumph in the World Cup. For Cross, it was the first big title in a tournament in the highest category of Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
Cross dominated the first three sets and took the lead 3-0. Taylor then stabilized a bit. The favorite played a decent cut, but could not keep up with Cross’s pace in most legs. Eventually Cross was able to extend his lead further. In the end, he won with a margin that few of the almost 3,500 fans present would have expected.
The fans greeted Taylor anyway, whose successful career is so far exceptional in darts. For the Taylor, it was the fifth defeat in his 21 finals of Darts World Cup. He had won his first world title in 1990.
It’s been six weeks since Rob Cross first met his idol Phil Taylor. He asked him for a common selfie. Since he did not know that he would play for the title on New Year’s Eve in the World Cup final – against this Phil Taylor, nickname “The Power”, the record world champion, the unique, the Roger Federer of the Darts world.
For almost 30 years, Taylor dominated the sport, 16 times he became world champion. For Cross, it was his first World Cup win ever. A year ago, he was still an electrician in Hastings and used to thrown arrows only in his spare time.
“Taylor won for the first time in 1990, that’s when I was born,” Cross said.
“He did so much for this sport, I hope he’s back down satisfied.”
Taylor admitted without bitterness that he “does not have the energy to beat a man like Rob Cross for 30 years, this is my life, and now his career starts, I see many parallels to him.”
In the first match with Taylor, Cross showed more consistent performance. With 107.41 points per shot, he did not come close to the World Cup record by Michael van Gerwen (114.05 points), but was able to achieve a much higher average than the 30 years older Taylor. He won nine of the first eleven legs. Cross, who has now moved up to fourth position in the world rankings, will play in the prestigious Premier League as a seeded player.