Grasscourt glory for Groth
Big serving Sam Groth has enjoyed grasscourt glory at the Mildura Grand International, winning his first singles title of 2013 after also collecting the doubles crown.
Big serving Sam Groth (Templestowe, Vic) took home grasscourt glory at the Mildura Grand International yesterday, winning his first ITF Futures singles title of 2013 after also collecting the doubles title on Friday.
Groth, 25, defeated fellow Victorian James Lemke (Camberwell, Vic) in straight sets, 6-1 6-4.
“Anytime you have a win is great. To win the singles and doubles in the same week is a good feeling,” said Groth, who made his first ever ITF Futures singles final in Mildura back in October 2006.
“I got on top early. I held serve, then broke his first serve. I had break points at 4-0 and ended up winning the set 6-1.
“I got a break again early in the second and carried on from there. I served well all week but I served well again in the match and I didn’t really give him a chance to get back into it,” added Groth, whose current ranking of No.230 is expected to move towards his career-high of No.196 achieved in January.
Earlier in the week Groth won his third Mildura doubles title with Queenslander John-Patrick Smith (Townsville, Qld) 6-3 6-4 over Colin Ebelthite (Hallet Cove, SA) and Ruan Roelofse of South Africa.
In the women’s final, Russia’s Ksenia Lykina won her third ITF singles title of her career defeating unseeded Victorian Azra Hadzic (Keysborough, Vic) 7-6(3) 6-3.
Hadzic had an exceptional week in Mildura defeating No.4 seed Bojana Bobusic (South Perth, WA) and No.6 seed Risa Ozaki from Japan on her way to her first ITF Pro Circuit final.
It was a double victory for Lykina too, who paired with Yurika Sema (JPN) to win the women’s doubles title over Bobusic and Emily Webley-Smith (GBR), 6-4 6-2.
The Australian Pro Tour will now move to New South Wales for the Nature’s Way Sydney Tennis International $50,000 ATP Challenger (men) and $10,000 ITF (women) events taking place at Sydney Olympic Park.
Grasscourt junior champions decided
Some of Australia’s best juniors were also in Mildura competing at the 2013 12s and 14s National Grasscourt Championships last week.
The six day tournament saw  Rinky Hijikata (Willoughby, NSW) and  Jessica Zaviacic (Melbourne, Vic) collect the 12s singles titles while  Alex De Minaur (Lidcombe, NSW) and  Nicole Kraemer (Hallet Cove, SA) won the 14s singles crowns.
Doubles victories went to  Connor Di Marco (Mill Park, Vic) and Stefan Norodom (Kidman Park, SA) in the boys’ 12s age group and  Jessica Zaviacic and Gabriella Da Silva-Fick (Sydney, NSW) won the 12s girls’ title.
In the 14s age group,  Matthew Romios (Pascoe Vale South, Vic) and Jamie Sekulovski (Lalor, Victoria) tasted victory, as did top seeded South Australian girls’ pair Petra Hule (Flagstaff Hill, SA) and Nicole Kraemer (Hallet Cove, SA).
The next Australian Championships for the 12s and 14s will be the National Claycourt Championships to be held at the George Alder Tennis Centre in Ipswich, Queensland in April.