Unibet Masters 

Friday 26th January 2018 - Sunday 28th January 2018

Arena MK, Milton Keynes

Mensur Suljovic ended Rob Cross's run in his debut appearance at the Unibet Masters at Arena MK in Milton Keynes at the quarter-final stage.


Going into the event, Cross said "It's really exciting. The past year has been full of new experiences for me and this will be another one.


"It was a goal of mine to get into the Masters anyway because it's the top 16 in the world and it means a lot to be in that bracket, but to be here as World Champion is amazing for me.


"The reaction since the World Championship has been unbelievable and it's been a busy time but I've been putting in the practice still and it will be nice to get back to playing."


First Round


Cross comfortably came through his first match on the PDC circuit since becoming world champion, beating Ian White 10-3.


Despite stating in his post match interview that he felt rusty after three weeks off, Cross hit seven maximums and outshots of 167 and 105, averaging 102.08 and at times showed the same relentless form that helped him win the world title. 


'Voltage' took the opening three legs of the match in 15, 12 and 16 darts, with the 167 finish coming in the second leg. White won the fourth leg in 15 darts, finishing on 136 (T20, T20, D8) with Cross left on 74 after throwing 12 darts. The fifth leg saw two 180's and the 105 finish (T19, 16, D16) from Cross as he went into the first break 4-1 up.


Another 15 darter extendecthe lead to 5-1 then White hit three 140's and an 81 checkout to win his second leg of the match. Cross took the next two legs in 17 and 12 darts to go 7-2 up then White took the next in 15 to reduce the deficit to 7-3 at the second break.


The Hastings superstar then took the next three legs in 12, 15 and 19 darts for victory.

Cross goes on to play Mensur Suljovic in the second round at approximately 1.45pm on Sunday, live on ITV4.


Following his win over White, Cross said "Mensur is a great player. I get along with Mensur. I usually practice with him in the practice room. It should be a great game. I'm playing well in fairness, I still think I can do better, definitely."


First Round Results
Raymond van Barneveld 10-9 Dave Chisnall
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Michael Smith
Rob Cross 10-3 Ian White
Peter Wright 10-5 Alan Norris
James Wade 10-8 Simon Whitlock
Gerwyn Price 10-7 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 10-4 Benito van de Pas
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Kim Huybrechts




A lacklustre quarter-final performance from the world champion saw Rob Cross defeated for the first time this year as his opponent Mensur Suljovic took out finishes of 136, 121, 120 and 112 to claim a 10-8 win.


This was the the first time the Austrian had beaten Cross in five attempts and he did it by winning five straight legs from 5-3 down then seeing off a late fightback from the champ. In the match winning leg Suljovic hit scores of 140, 125 and 100 then finished off with a 136 checkout (T20, T20, D8) with Cross left on 134 having thrown nine darts.


The first ten legs of the match were shared. Cross broke the Suljovic throw to lead 3-1 and 5-3 but both times his opponent broke straight back with checkouts of 121 and 120.


In the end a missed dart at double top from Cross to gain a 6-3 advantage proved crucial. After the second interval Suljovic took the next three legs in 13, 15 and 14 darts to lead 8-5 as Cross's usual power scoring seemed to disappear. 


All of a sudden though Cross was back on his game, kicking off the next leg with a 180, finishing it off in 13 darts and it was game on. Another 13 dart leg followed as the Hastings shooter reduced the deficit to just one leg.


Suljovic kept his head to take the next in 13 darts after Cross missed a dart at the bull for a 126 finish to level the match.


Now Suljovic had a 9-7 lead and was one leg away from victory. Cross won the next in 14 darts but it wasn't enough to dent the Austrian's confidence as he advanced to a place in the last four.


Following the match Suljovic said "I'm so happy, I beat my friend and world champion. I play ok, I'm happy I win." before letting out his traditional roar of "come on".


Suljovic hit one 180 and averaged 101.40. Cross hit six 180's and averaged 99.00.


Quarter-Final Results
Raymond van Barneveld 10-2 Peter Wright
Mensur Suljovic 10-8 Rob Cross
Gary Anderson 10-6 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 10-2 James Wade
Semi-Final Results
Raymond van Barneveld 11-7 Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen 11-5 Gary Anderson
Final Result
Michael van Gerwen 11-9 Raymond van Barneveld