ROB CROSS feels ready to claim his first televised title since being crowned World Champion at the BetVictor World Matchplay.
The world number three made his Winter Gardens debut last year, defeating Ian White in round one before going out at the hands of Adrian Lewis in the last 16.
Cross has enjoyed a return to form in recent weeks, reaching back-to-back World Series of Darts finals in Las Vegas and Shanghai, and is confident of producing his best form in Blackpool.
"I feel ready to perform to the best of my ability," said Cross, who will take on Mervyn King in the opening round.
This is only the beginning for me
"A lot has changed in the last 12 months, I really enjoyed making my debut at the Winter Gardens last year - it was a unique experience playing there.
"I'm pleased with how far I've come since I played here last year but now I'm focused on maintaining my high position on the rankings and pushing on - I want the number one spot.
"This is only the beginning for me, I believe in myself and I feel my fitness has improved over the last few weeks which is also helping me.
"Mervyn is a good player but I'm going to produce and I'm going to play well so if he's going to beat me he's going to have to play better than me."
Watch Rob in action at The BetVictor World Matchplay; a limited number of tickets are still available from the Winter Gardens Box Office by calling 0844 856 111 or in person.
The BetVictor World Matchplay will be televised live on Sky Sports and worldwide through the PDC's broadcast partners, as well as through PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers (outside of UK, Ireland & Netherlands).
2018 BetVictor World Matchplay
Schedule of Play
Saturday July 21 (7pm)
Adrian Lewis v James Wilson
Dave Chisnall v Keegan Brown
Michael van Gerwen v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton
Sunday July 22
Afternoon Session (1pm)
Darren Webster v Steve Lennon
Ian White v Max Hopp
Gerwyn Price v Joe Cullen
Daryl Gurney v Steve West
Evening Session (7.30pm)
Mensur Suljovic v Steve Beaton
Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting
Rob Cross v Mervyn King
Raymond van Barneveld v Kyle Anderson
Monday July 23 (7pm)
Kim Huybrechts v John Henderson
Simon Whitlock v Richard North
James Wade v Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright v Jelle Klaasen
Tuesday July 24 (7pm)
Chisnall/Brown v Smith/Clayton
Gurney/West v Price/Cullen
Van Gerwen/De Zwaan v Lewis/Wilson
G Anderson/Bunting v Van Barneveld/K Anderson
Wednesday July 25 (7pm)
Whitlock/North v Wade/Wattimena
Suljovic/Beaton v White/Hopp
Cross/King v Webster/Lennon
Wright/Klaasen v Huybrechts/Henderson
Thursday July 26 (7pm)
Friday July 27 (7pm)
Saturday July 28 (7pm)
Sunday July 29 (7pm)
First Round - Best of 19 legs
Second Round - Best of 21 legs
Quarter-Finals - Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals - Best of 33 legs
Final - Best of 35 legs
Winner - £115,000
Runner-Up - £55,000
Semi-Finalists - £30,000
Quarter-Finalists - £17,500
Second Round Losers - £11,000
First Round Losers - £7,000
Total - £500,000