Groth Gathers More Steam
Published January 15, 2011 12:00
HOBART, Australia - As though scoring her first Top 10 win the week before wasn't enough of a confidence boost going into the Australian Open, Jarmila Groth continued to show why she is one of Australia's brightest hopes this week, winning the second WTA title of her blossoming career in Hobart.
Groth, the No.6 seed, was in top form all week, not dropping a set en route to the final, including in wins over fellow seeds Roberta Vinci and Klara Zakopalova in the quarters and semis. And that trend continued in the final as her huge groundstrokes were still on the mark: she broke Bethanie Mattek-Sands five times and won over half of her return points to prevail, 64 63.
Groth has had a meteoric rise over the last eight months. She reached her first Grand Slam second weeks at the French Open and Wimbledon last summer, won her first WTA title at Guangzhou last fall and in the first week of the new season beat Sam Stosur in Brisbane, her first Top 10 win (as well as her first Top 20 win). At this time a year ago she wasn't even in the Top 100; this week she's No.40, and that will go even higher when the new rankings are run.
"It's my second title and it's a home title, so is it my highest point? Probably," Groth said. "There were a couple of times the wind came down so we could play proper tennis, but most of the time it was just try to run and fight as much as possible. Anyway, hopefully it's not the last title and I hope I keep improving."
"I think I served pretty well today. It was up and down but the times I did, I got some aces in. I'm happy with that," Mattek-Sands said after the match. "I'm really excited. This is the best beginning to a season I've had in a long time.
"I'm healthy, and that's the most important thing."
Groth took the court again for the rain delayed doubles semifinal, partnering Zakopalova; they lost to Kateryna Bondarenko and Liga Dekmeijere, 64 62. Later in the final, Bondarenko and Dekmeijere in turn lost to No.3 seeds Vinci and Sara Errani, 63 75. The Italians won their third title together, having won International clay court titles in Marbella and Barcelona last year.
Rain wreaked havoc on the schedules all week long, with only one match getting completed Wednesday and a total washout taking place Thursday.