2024 Premier League: Rob Cross Sizes Up Luke Littler Ahead of Battle in Berlin

In a pre-event interview with SportsBoom, Rob Cross offers insights into his upcoming showdown with Luke Littler. As the event descends upon Berlin's Mercedes Benz Arena, anticipation builds for the highly anticipated rematch. With Littler's recent triumph over Cross at the World Championships adding extra intrigue, Cross's praise for his opponent's talent and impact on the game, coupled with his own determination to perform under pressure, sets the stage for an enthralling clash.

darts players shaking hands
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-02-08

7 minutes read

The Premier League Arrives in Berlin

The anticipation mounts as the Premier League Darts caravan rolls into the vibrant city of Berlin for what promises to be a captivating night of darting action at the Mercedes Benz Arena. Among the thrilling matchups scheduled for the evening, all eyes are on the highly anticipated rematch between Rob Cross and the rising star, Luke Littler, in the opening round of the night.

 

This showdown holds a special significance as it marks a rematch of the World Championships semi-final where Littler emerged victorious with a commanding 6-2 win in sets over Cross. The memory of that match still lingers, adding an extra layer of intensity to their upcoming encounter.

A Highly Anticipated Rematch

Ahead of this highly anticipated clash, Rob Cross has been vocal in his admiration for his opponent, Luke Littler, recognising the young player's immense talent and potential. "I think it very important that he’s settled down, but he just seems to take everything in his own strides. I think he's fantastic," Cross remarked in a pre-match interview with SportsBoom. 

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You'd like to think that he's going to play a bad game at some point, but it doesn't look possible at the minute.

Cross, added.

Cross's praise for Littler extends beyond mere compliments, as he acknowledges the youngster's maturity and composure on the big stage. "He's just going to carry on doing what he's doing. He's well looked after, he's a great kid, with a bright future," Cross added, hinting at the challenge Littler poses to seasoned competitors like himself.

Cross Reflects on World Championship Loss

Reflecting on his World Championship semi-final defeat to Luke Littler, Rob Cross spoke candidly about his performance and the impact of his opponent on the game of darts. "I thought I played well in the semi-final," Cross remarked, acknowledging his own efforts while also highlighting a pivotal moment where he faltered in finding the double 15 in the second set. However, Cross's admiration for Littler shines through as he commends the young player's exceptional skill and contribution to the sport. "The boy was fantastic, and I can't take nothing away from him. I can only really sing his praises," Cross emphasised. 

 

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Littler’s Talent and Impact on the Sport

Furthermore, Cross views the 17-year-old as a catalyst for positive change within the darts community, describing him as "a breath of fresh air" who brings innovation and excitement to the game. Cross believes that Littler's influence extends beyond the playing field, stating, "He's already bringing new stuff into the game and generating more money." In Cross's view, Littler's impact has elevated the standard and popularity of darts, benefiting all players and stakeholders involved. "If the games in a better place because of him, we're all better off for it," Cross concluded, highlighting the transformative effect of Littler's presence on the sport.

Managing Crowd Pressure

Additionally, the 33-year-old demonstrates a seasoned approach when addressing the challenge of managing a rowdy crowd, particularly when facing an opponent like Luke Littler who garners fervent support from the audience. "You just have to switch off from it, it’s part and parcel in the game now," Cross remarked, displaying a pragmatic attitude towards the boisterous atmosphere often encountered in darts arenas. He acknowledged the inevitability of crowd bias, recognising Littler as one of the crowd favourites. 

 

Despite the potential distraction posed by a partisan crowd, Cross emphasised the importance of professionalism and focusing on the task at hand. "It’s just about being professional and doing your job," he asserted. Cross's extensive experience in traversing various darting arenas around the globe has undoubtedly equipped him with the mental fortitude required to thrive in such environments. He remains undeterred by the prospect of facing a hostile crowd, expressing his determination to overcome the challenge. 

Another Underdog Story

"It will be the best feeling in the world if I could beat him under the scrutiny," Cross admits, underscoring his unwavering commitment to delivering a stellar performance regardless of external distractions. With his seasoned approach and steely resolve, Cross is poised to navigate the tumultuous atmosphere and showcase his mastery on the oche, aiming to emerge triumphant against the odds.

 

In acknowledging the formidable competition posed by tournament favourites like Luke Littler, Rob Cross adopts a strategic mindset, recognising the importance of going under the radar. "I've got to perform. For me, I've gone under the radar before, and it can happen again," Cross asserted, highlighting his intention to fly somewhat beneath the radar amidst the spotlight on players like Littler. By embracing a less conspicuous approach, Cross aims to focus on his game and deliver standout performances when it matters most, potentially catching opponents off guard. 

A Showdown of Champions

As the Premier League Darts season progresses, all eyes will be on Luke Littler as he faces one of his toughest tests yet against the seasoned campaigner. With Cross aiming to avenge his previous defeat and Littler eager to reaffirm his dominance, this rematch promises to be nothing short of enthralling.

 

The stage is set for a clash of titans as Rob Cross and Luke Littler take centre stage in Berlin. With both players poised to showcase their skills and determination, fans can expect a thrilling contest that epitomises the excitement and intensity of the Premier League. As the darting world holds its breath in anticipation, one thing is certain, this is a matchup not to be missed.

 

Image credit: Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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