Rob Cross exited the bwin Grand Slam of Darts in the last 16 last night (Wednesday).
The world champion from St Leonards was beaten 10-7 by world number seven Mensur Suljovic in Wolverhampton.
Despite hitting six 180s to Suljovic’s none, Cross trailed throughout the match and although he closed to within a leg on three occasions, he then lost his throw on each occasion.
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Austrian ace Suljovic opened up a 5-1 lead before Cross found his range to reel off three straight legs, in 12, 14 and 14 darts. Suljovic broke throw in leg 10 to lead 6-4 at the second break and held throw in the next to go three legs clear.
Cross won the next two to make it 7-6 only for Suljovic to finish 92 for another break. Cross broke back to trail 8-7, but then missed three darts at a double to level the match and Suljovic claimed a crucial break. He duly finished 96 in the next leg to complete his victory.
The Sky Sports-televised event began with a group format last weekend and Cross topped group H with three wins out of three.
His first group match ended in a 5-2 win over Mark McGeeney in a clash between the PDC world champion and BDO World Championship runner-up.
Cross took his chances to punish McGeeney for missing 20 darts at a double on Saturday afternoon.
The following afternoon he became the first player to book his place in knockout phase after surviving a match dart to edge past Dimitri Van den Bergh 5-4.
Cross, who missed just two darts at a double, trailed 3-2 to the young Belgian in a repeat of their World Championship quarter-final before battling back to force a last leg decider.
After reigning world youth champion Van den Bergh missed a dart at the bullseye for the match, the world number three found double eight with his last dart in hand to secure the win.
Cross completed the group stage with a 5-2 victory over Ryan Searle on Monday night, averaging 98 in the process.