Groth’s winning start
Sam Groth joins legends Pete Sampras and John McEnroe in beginning his grass court season as a winner of the Aegon Manchester Trophy.
Sam Groth has carved his name alongside Wimbledon legends Pete Sampras and John McEnroe as a winner of the Aegon Manchester Trophy.
In a fabulous start to his grasscourt season, Groth beat former Wimbledon junior champion Luke Saville 7-5 6-1 in an all-Australian final at the $65,000 Challenger event on Sunday.
It’s not quite Queen’s Club, which hosts the traditional Wimbledon lead-up event, but the second-tier tournament has a rich history with the likes of Fred Perry, Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Maureen Connoly, Billie-Jean King, Margaret Smith Court, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg and Pat Rafter among the greats to have graced its courts.
“It’s pretty amazing to have my name alongside names like Sampras and McEnroe on the trophy,” Groth said.
“Any time you win a tournament it’s a great feeling and it’s a great way for me to start my grasscourt campaign.”
The victory lifted Groth from 70th to a career-high No.66 in the world and confirmed the 27-year-old’s undoubted grasscourt prowess.
Last year, almost to the day, big-serving Groth lost the final of the Nottingham Challenger event to teenage countryman Nick Kyrgios, who backed up his low-key triumph as the world No.173 with a stunning fourth-round Wimbledon win over Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios will be seeded at the All England Club this year after surging to 25th in the world and Groth is hoping to use his success as a platform for a similar climb up the rankings.