Raymond van Barneveld's World Darts Championship return ends after defeat to Rob Cross

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Raymond van Barneveld’s World Darts Championship return ends with a second-round loss to former champion Rob Cross… despite legendary Dutchman firing in stunning 170 checkout in the first set

  • Raymond van Barneveld returned to the PDC circuit after regaining his tour card 
  • The five-time world champion returned to Alexandra Palace after two years away
  • But he has been knocked out in the second round after losing 3-1 to Rob Cross


Raymond van Barneveld’s PDC World Championship return ended with a 3-1 second-round loss to former champion Rob Cross.

Van Barneveld, a five-time world champion across the PDC and BDO versions, retired after a first-round loss at the tournament two years ago only to return late in 2020.

He could not have made a better start against 11th seed Cross, the 2018 champion, making three 180s in the opening set and a 170 checkout in the second leg.

Raymond van Barneveld exited the World Darts Championship after losing 3-1 to Rob Cross

Raymond van Barneveld exited the World Darts Championship after losing 3-1 to Rob Cross

Cross, a former world champion, took control after the first leg to knock the Dutchman out

Cross, a former world champion, took control after the first leg to knock the Dutchman out

But the 54-year-old Dutchman’s form deteriorated thereafter and Cross played well enough to dominate the last three sets, losing just three legs.

Cross admitted he struggled to handle the atmosphere initially, telling Sky Sports: ‘It was mental. Twenty four months with Covid I haven’t had a crowd like this and that first set I just couldn’t settle.

‘Fair play to Raymond, he played absolutely brilliant. I think from there I started to settle a little bit more but it was a hard game. I’ve been playing so, so well, I’ve put a lot of time into this. I’m just so glad that I got the win.’

Cross will take on Daryl Gurney in the third round after Christmas while there were also victories in the evening session for Danny Noppert and Gabriel Clemens.

Earlier, seventh seed Jose De Souza came from two sets down to defeat Jason Lowe while Alan Soutar won a dramatic clash to knock out Mensur Suljovic, taking an extended final leg 6-4 having trailed by two sets and two legs.

Van Barneveld enjoyed a superb start, having hit three 180s and a 170 checkout in the first set

Van Barneveld enjoyed a superb start, having hit three 180s and a 170 checkout in the first set

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