Newly-crowned World Matchplay champion Rob Cross eyes defence of Brisbane Darts Masters title this week

Rob Cross, the newly-crowned World Matchplay champion, has now set his sights on retaining his Brisbane Darts Masters title later this week.

The world number two, who beat Michael Smith 18-13 to win the 2019 World Matchplay in Blackpool eight days ago, will be among the PDC’s top stars in action in Australia and New Zealand this month.

The World Series heads Down Under for its now traditional summer triple header, with the first of three events, the Brisbane Darts Masters, which Cross won the inaugural staging of last year.

Speaking to The Darts Show, Cross said: “It’s a massive confidence boost for me ahead of Brisbane.

“Hopefully I can go there and defend my title, I couldn’t have asked for a better preparation.

“I loved it in Brisbane last year and this is the first of three big events in Australia and New Zealand, so I want to keep my form going when we get back out there.

“The World Series has been fantastic. I’ve not played my best darts in Las Vegas and Germany but I’m feeling great after winning in Blackpool.”

Cross beat world number one Michael van Gerwen 11-6 in the final of last year’s Brisbane Darts Masters, having earlier picked up victories against Tim Pusey (6-2), Corey Cadby (10-4) and Peter Wright (11-8).

It was Cross’ last tournament win in front of the cameras, until the 29-year-old went all the way at the Winter Gardens late last month.

The Brisbane Darts Masters takes place at the BCEC across two days, on Friday and Saturday, this week, with Cross joined in the 16-player field by Wright, van Gerwen, Daryl Gurney, James Wade, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld and Simon Whitlock.

Australian tour-card holders Kyle Anderson and Cadby, and Damon Heta, James Bailey, Haupai Puha, Koha Kokiri, Brendan McCausland and Ben Robb complete the line-up as the eight regional qualifiers.

Picture: PDC

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