Sam Groth Insists Retirement Plans Are On Track Amid Injury Speculation - UBITENNIS
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Sam Groth Insists Retirement Plans Are On Track Amid Injury Speculation

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Sam Groth is confident that he will be ready to play at the Australian Open for the final time in his career next month.

Groth, who has been ranked as high as 53rd in the world, announced that he will retire from the sport after the Melbourne major. The 30-year-old has been hit with speculations of an injury problem after he withdrew from this week’s Australian Open wildcard playoff tournament. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, he withdrew from the event due to a back injury. Despite the concerns, Groth has contradicted the media report by saying that he is not injured.

“I’m not injured and nothing has changed regarding the Australian Open,” he told Fox Sports Australia.
“I wasn’t ready to play the wildcard playoff and was never going to play it.
“Everything is fine and I’m excited about playing the Australian Open as my last tournament.”

Currently ranked 248th in the world, Groth isn’t ranked high enough to be a direct entrant into the Australian Open main draw. Meaning that he will be required to play in the qualifying tournament a week before hand.

There is still a chance that he could reach the main draw without going through qualifying via wildcard. Selectors still have three wildcard’s left to hand out after this week, but the Australian isn’t getting his hopes up.

“I’m not expecting a wildcard,” stated Groth.
“If that happens, it would be great, but I don’t expect it.
“I’m getting ready to play ‘qualies’ and I’ll take it from there.”

During his career, Groth has won four Challenger titles and represented his country in eight Davis Cup ties since 2014. At the grand slams, he reached the third round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon during 2015. In the doubles, Groth has won two ATP titles alongside compatriot Chris Guccione. The 2014 Bogota Open and the 2016 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 15th. Groth is also planning to participate in the doubles and mixed doubles tournaments.

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Andy Murray Won’t Weigh In On Raducanu’s Progress Unless Asked To

The three-time Grand Slam champion has called for his national tennis federation to build on Raducanu’s recent success on the Tour.

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Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he will not ‘wade in’ on the development of Emma Raducanu unless the recently crowned US Open champion reaches out to him for advice.

 

Raducanu has surged up the rankings to 22nd in the world following her shock run at the US Open where she became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title and the first British woman to do so since 1977. As a result of her rapid rise in the sport, there has been a surge in companies wanting to partner with the teenager who is set to make millions. She only made her main draw debut on the WTA Tour earlier this year.

Murray knows what it is like growing up in the spotlight with the British media closely monitoring his progress. Although he was 25 when he won his first major event at the 2012 US Open to become the first British man to do so for 76 years.

When it comes to giving tips and advice to his younger compatriot, Murray says he will only do so if he is asked to do so. Saying he used to get ‘irritated’ when he was younger by those who world offer their views without asking him first.

I never really liked it when all of the ex-British tennis players were always wading in after every win and loss about what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing, and a lot of them also giving advice when you haven’t asked for it as well,” BBC Sport quoted Murray as saying. .
“I found it incredibly irritating – and still do today. I don’t want to be that person.
“What Emma has achieved is incredible and I hope she goes on to do more amazing things in the sport, and if she ever wants to talk, or her family, obviously I would always be there on the end of the phone.
“But I don’t want to be that guy after every loss or win just wading in and giving my opinion on what she should or shouldn’t be doing differently, because it’s not helpful.”

Following the US Open, Murray believes British tennis must capitalise on Raducanu’s success for the future and get rid of their elitist image. He believes a lot of people are put off playing due to the perception tennis is expensive to play.

“For a country that hosts the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and is certainly not lacking in money, that’s not really good enough,” he said.
“Now should be an opportunity to try to make sure that it’s not another huge wait again. They need to try to take the opportunity.”

According to data obtained by the LTA, the final of the women’s US Open was the match most watched tennis match in history on Amazon Prime UK. Raducanu’s showdown with Leylah Fernandez was also shown on Channel 4 which attracted a peak audience of 9.2 million viewers, including a 48% share of 16-34 year olds. The LTA also reported that their own social media feeds attracted record breaking numbers.

Murray is playing at the Moselle Open this week after being given a wildcard into the tournament. In the first round he will face sixth seed Ugo Humbert. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 6-7 on the ATP Tour and he is currently ranked 113th in the world.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Sorana Cristea in Ostrava

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World number 30 Anett Kontaveit beat Sorana Cristea 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and a half at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open improving to 5-0 in their head-to-head matches. Kontaveit beat Cristea twice this year in Dubai and Miami. 

 

The Estonian player converted six of her eight eight break points. She earned her first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Cristea converted her third break point with a forehand winner to draw level to 4-4. Kontaveit broke serve at love to take a 5-4 lead and served out the set 6-4 in the 10th game. 

Kontaveit cruised through to a 5-2 lead. Cristea pulled one break back and led 0-40 on Kontaveit’s serve at 5-4. Kontaveit won a streak of consecutive points to force the 10th game to deuce. Kontaveit won the next two points with forehand winners to claim the win. 

Russian qualifier Anastasia Potapova overcame Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 46 minutes. Potapova fended off all three of the break points she faced. They have 1-1 level in their previous head-to-head matches. Garcia had won their previous head-to-head match in Tianjin in 2019. 

Potapova set up a second round match against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Paula Badosa beat Russian lucky-loser Varvara Gracheva 6-2 6-2 in just 1 hour and 13 minutes. Badosa won 77% of her first service points and never faced a break point. 

Badova took a re-match against Gracheva, who won their previous head-to-head match in the second round at the US Open.

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Lorenzo Sonego overcomes Martin Fucsovics in Metz

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Fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego cruised past Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-2 after 73 minutes at the Moselle Open in Metz to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Sonego won 73% of his first service points. 

 

Sonego broke once in the fourth game at love to win the opening set 6-3 after 35 minutes. The Italian player earned an early break in the first game of the second set. Both players went on serve for the first time in the fifth game. Sonego broke for the second time in the second set to open up a 4-1 lead. Fucsovics held his serve in the seventh game with a tweener but Sonego served out the win on his second match point. 

Sonego was playing for the first time since a first-round defeat at the US Open. The Turin-born player won his second ATP title in Cagliari and reached the final in Eastbourne. He earned personal-best 24 and achieved his career-high number 23 in 2021. With his win in Cagliari he has become the first Italian champion on home soil since 2006. He saved 1 match point against Dominic Thiem en route to 2021 Masters Rome semifinals becoming the first Italian semifinalist at Foro Italico since 2007. 

Fucsovics reached the final in Rotterdam and the quarter final at Wimbledon this year. 

“I was really focused today. Marton is a great player and it was a tough match today. I liked my tennis and I am really happy. I am confident because this year has been my best season. I am now number 24 in the world, which is my best ranking. I have played my best tennis this year. I like the atmosphere here because it is dark and it is nice. I like playing here. This is my second time. Two years ago I lost in the second round and I want to do better”, said Sonego. 

Vasek Pospisil beat Gregoire Barrere 6-3 6-4 with a break in the eighth game of the first set and in the first game of the second set. 

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