Groth no sloth

13 Jun

Sam Groth – still serving bombs, qualifies at Queen’s.

A quick look at the number of  Aussies in the qualifying draw at the traditional Wimbledon warm-up event at The Queen’s Club, London, and you could have been excused for thinking it was the Australian Open about to begin. No fewer than 5 of the 8 seeded players in qualifying were “journey-men” Aussies. It shows, once again that there is no shortage of Aussie talent plying their trade out on tour. But also highlights the chasm between those who might, and those who do, breakthrough.

In this instance it was Sam Groth who made it to the main draw. While Little Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic and Marinko Matosevic battled it out in the main draw, Groth was rapt to get through. Tomic went down in a tight 3 setter against German Benjamin Becker, with father John Tomic given a special exemption from his ATP tour ban allowing him to watch from the stands. Matosevic got lucky twice – first to draw a lucky loser, then have Michael Llodra pull out injured in the second round. His luck has run out – as he takes on Andy Murray next. As for Little Lleyton – well he’s out there doing what he does best – battling – a 3 set win in his 1st round was followed up by a straight sets win over rising young Bulgarian star (and Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend) Grigor Dimitrov. Next up for Lleyton – big serving Sam Querrey – a winnable match-up for Hewitt as he will have a target coming at him most of the match.

And for the world #232 ranked Sam Groth – a close 3 set loss to another “tattooed” one – Czech Lukas Rosol. While those journeymen Aussies slide off to eek out a living at the next stop on the Challenger tour, Groth can at least feel satisfied on this short step onto the main stage. In one of those statistical quirks: 5 years ago Groth was also ranked #232. The journey goes on.


*PS Sam Groth can lay claim to fame as THE fastest server in men’s tennis – a frightening 263 km/h. See the link for more on Sam.

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