Phil Taylor v Rob Cross: World Darts Championship 2018 Final preview - Departing legend and debutant collide on date with destiny

Taylor waves a final goodbye to the Ally Pally crowd (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Phil Taylor aims to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career by winning a 17th World Championship title and denying new sensation Rob Cross debut glory at Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day.

A storybook finale sees the legendary Stoke star competing in his 21st World Championship final against a player who sent shockwaves through the darting stratosphere in 2017.

Taylor will pack away his arrows for the final time come the end of the final and will be determined to culminate his unrivalled career by raising the sport's most iconic trophy one last time.

Despite the added pressure on his shoulders throughout the tournament, Taylor has dropped just five sets in breezing through to the final.

The 57-year-old was given a minor scare by Chris Dobey in Round One before whitewashing Justin Pipe and Keegan Brown to reach the Quarter-Finals.

He then put paid to the hopes of two-time World Champion Gary Anderson with a 5-3 victory, before bringing Jamie Lewis' ground-breaking run to a halt with a 6-1 rout in Saturday's Semi-Finals.

Taylor also claimed a fairy-tale 16th World Matchplay title in Blackpool this summer and is now just one win away from one of the most astonishing sporting feats.

Cross, meanwhile, is aiming to culminate a dream first year on the PDC circuit by landing the sport's richest prize and etching his name into darting folklore.

World ranked 20 prior to the tournament, 'Voltage' has sustained the form which has catapulted him into the top echelons of the sport after just 12 months as a Tour Card holder.

The Hastings thrower has handled the pressure on his first Ally Pally visit in majestic fashion, following up a straight sets rout of Seigo Asada with an epic 4-3 victory over Michael Smith - in which he survived match darts.

He then brushed aside John Henderson 4-1 in Round Three before fending off a magnificent fightback from Dimitri van den Bergh to edge a thrilling last-set triumph in the Quarter-Finals.

The pattern then continued in jaw-dropping fashion as he dethroned defending champion Michael van Gerwen in a sudden death leg on Saturday night in arguably the greatest game ever witnessed on the Ally Pally stage.

The former electrician will hope to recharge the batteries and start from scratch as he prepares to face the most decorated player in the history of the sport - who is poised for an emotional farewell in the capital.

The first ever show-down between the two players gets underway from around 8pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 13 sets. All sets are the best of five legs.

If the game goes to a deciding set, it must be won by two clear legs. If the score in the final set reaches 5-5, a sudden-death leg will be played.

The winner will scoop a record £400,000 in prize money, with the runner-up taking home £170,000.

Player's View:


Taylor: "It's surreal to be honest with you, it's like winning the lottery for me this is.

"I'm still playing well but not good enough really, I can play better.

"The first round against Chris Dobey I knew I was in for a battle, but I thought if I got passed him then I could have a run at it.

"Then when I got to Gary Anderson I thought "that's you done now" because he's a younger, stronger, fitter and better player than I am at the minute but he didn't perform and I took advantage.

"It's a bit like John Part when he beat Kirk Shepherd in the final, I'm just picking up the pieces to be honest. It will be massive and the best thing for me."

Cross: "I didn't even have a Tour Card 14 months ago so to come here and do what I've done, it's amazing.

"I think I've improved as the year's gone on. Obviously I lack in experience, there was moments in that game [against MVG] where I felt it, but that will change in time.

"With that belief and when you keep pushing yourself, anything's possible.

"When I was at the Grand Slam, me and Phil were talking, that was the first time I'd met him, and he said "me and you final this year in the worlds", that's come true now and I can't believe it.

"I've got to get my head down and focus on that game, because there's one match left and I can win the worlds."


Darts Deals United States
Change Location

*Terms & Conditions apply. Gamble Responsibly. 18+.

Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Phil Taylor v Rob Cross: World Darts Championship 2018 Final preview - Departing legend and debutant collide on date with destiny

Phil Taylor aims to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career by winning a 17th World Championship title and denying new sensation Rob Cross debut glory at Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages