Groth topples Stosur
Melbournian Jarmila Groth has knocked top seed and Fed Cup tennis teammate Samantha Stosur out of the Brisbane International.
Rising Australian tennis star Jarmila Groth reeled of the final five games to bundle stunned top seed Samantha Stosur out of the Brisbane International on Tuesday night.
Groth used her giant serve to slay her fellow Fed Cup squad member, the world No.6 suffering a blow to her Australian Open preparations with a 6-2 6-4 defeat in 78 minutes.
The 23-year-old Melbournian sent down seven aces in the opening set and nine for the match to potentially set up an all-Australian quarterfinal clash with Jelena Dokic, who on Wednesday faces German Andrea Petkovic.
After an ugly start to the match in which she lost her first two service games and ultimately the set 6-2, Stosur staged the fightback you would expect from a top seed.
She broke the world No.42 in the second game of the second set as she opened up a dominant 4-1 lead.
The match seemed all but destined for a third and deciding set before a dramatic change came across the clash.
Groth punished Stosur’s second serve while also stepping up her own service game to reel off five straight games and win the match with the second of three set points.
Stosur’s tale of woe was clear in the statistics.
She won just eight of 23 second service points in the second set and paltry 10 of 35 for the match.
The win will be a huge confidence boost for Groth, who is not seeded at the tournament, while it has also opened up the main draw following the demise of second seed Shahar Peer on Tuesday.
Groth has twice advanced to quarte finals at the Brisbane International but went no further in 2007 and again last year.
Groth said a recent friendly practise session with Stosur inadvertently helped her prepare for the shock win.
“I’ve played her before and we practised together a couple of days ago and, I guess, I had some sort of idea what I wanted to do and tonight it worked very well,” Groth said.
“I haven’t played her for two years, so it helped, it gives you a gauge of what you can expect.”
She said her serve had developed into her biggest weapon and it played a major role in the victory, while she also tried to limit Stosur’s forehand opportunities.
“I was trying to be aggressive attack with my second serve to make her go on the run, to try to play through the backhand side to try and make her run to her forehand,” Groth said.
Stosur had no regrets about the practise session, admitting Groth deserved the win thanks to a near-flawless display.
“She made one error in the first set and hit 12 winners,” Stosur said.
“Sometimes practise sessions you look at your opponent a lot and for me, I’m more concerned about what I’m doing and my game rather than worrying about what my opponent is doing in a practise session.
“It’s no real secret how we both play so regardless whether we played the other day we both have a fair idea of each others strength and weaknesses.”
It was the second match in a row Stosur has started sluggishly, but this time she paid the ultimate price as Groth claimed her first top 10 scalp.
“I had my chance in the second at 4-1 with some break points and you have to be able to take those,” Stosur said.
“I definitely can start matches better than what I did. I’m not too pleased the way I went down 4-0.”