Groth books Brisbane quarterfinal berth
Sam Groth has held his nerve to book his second straight Brisbane International quarterfinal berth.
Australian Sam Groth has held his nerve to book his second straight Brisbane International quarterfinal berth.
World No.85 Groth dug in to finally overpower Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday in an epic two-and-a-half hour second-round clash.
Groth – owner of the world’s fastest serve – booked a last-eight showdown with Canadian third seed Milos Raonic.
Groth on Thursday initially looked to have picked up where he left off from his stunning first-round thrashing of defending champion Lleyton Hewitt.
He struck 21 winners to claim the first set in a whirlwind 38 minutes.
But world No.177 Kubot showed why he is a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist by unleashing his own power game on the 27-year-old.
He sealed the second-set tiebreaker with his 12th ace and again went toe to toe with Groth in the third before finally succumbing to the crowd favourite.
Groth faces a much sterner challenge in the quarter-finals judging by world No.8 Raonic’s second-round demolition of Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Thursday.
The big-serving Canadian thundered down 17 aces and never faced a break point on his way to a 6-3 6-4 second-round triumph.
A Wimbledon semi-finalist, Raonic came out swinging in his first match of the year after receiving a first-round bye.
The 24-year-old will be keen to back up from a breakthrough 2014 in which he also made the French Open quarter-finals.