I struggled to adjust as darts world champ – but I wouldnt change a thing

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    It's been almost five years since Rob Cross won the PDC World Darts Championship on debut – and only now does he feel like he's fully adjusted.

    Voltage went to Alexandra Palace as the 20th seed with a previous career highpoint coming in the form of a run to the European Championship final in 2017. The former electrician beat Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen on his way to the final before seeing off the greatest player of all time in the form of Phil Taylor.

    The Hastings man pocketed £400,000 to skyrocket up the world rankings as his life changed forever – but it wasn't initially easy to manage away from the finances, speaking to Daily Star Sport with Target Darts, Cross opened up.

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    He said: "I think thats the struggle after the Worlds, you have to adjust to a new life because it won't be anything like it used to be.

    "From the way you conduct yourself to how much work you're putting in – your whole routine changes forever. It's only recently that I feel fully adjusted and I'm happy where I am at the minute. I'll pick up another major at the end of the year this year."

    Cross has struggled on his return visits to Ally Pally but picked up major victories elsewhere at the World Matchplay and twice in the European Championship.

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    Following a patch of poor form across 2022, Cross now feels back able to find his best after winning back-to-back PDC World Series finals in New Zealand and Australia last month.

    He added: "I think a balance is massive for me. After having a family death and other things, I took it badly. It's taken me a long time to really recover and get that love back for the game.

    "When you're going out and you feel like you're fighting yourself, let alone playing an opponent it can be very tough.

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    "But the last, I suppose the last 14 months I've really sort of just started to turn around and there is glimpses there now that I'm getting back to where I want to be and I've had that family time this year, which was needed."

    "Winning in Australia and New Zealand was nice to take off my list and now I'm feeling good going into the business end of the year."

    Cross spoke to Daily Star Sport from the Target Darts product launch for 2023 alongside Nathan Aspinall and an array of fellow stars. Cross has been partnered with Target since before his 2018 World Championship triumph, with his new black edition available to buy now.

    • Rob Cross

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