Veteran tennis star to retire after Australian Open
SAM Groth will retire after January’s Australian Open.
An Olympian, Davis Cup mainstay and John Newcombe medallist, Groth will bow out after the January 15-28 event, ending a 13-year career.
Citing wilting motivation, the 30-year-old said he had increasingly struggled “with the whole life on the tour thing.”
“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about since Wimbledon,” Groth said.
“I went to Newport, a tournament I’ve done really well at in the past. I ‘qualied’, won a round and I was playing John Isner on centre court and part of me just really didn’t want to be there.
“My issue has never been competing.
“Before I got to 53 in the world, my issue was doing enough work and all those sorts of things.
“That became the easy part at the end.
“But getting out and competing and being away from home became tough.”
A fearsome serve-volleyer, Groth has been plagued with injury since reaching a career-high No 53 in 2015.
His feat that season to re-emerge from virtual retirement after shoulder surgery and a suburban AFL stint with Vermont is now part of Australian tennis folklore.
The right-hander upstaged grand slam champion Sam Stosur, a triple Newcombe medallist, to succeed Hewitt as Australia’s premier player in 2015.
“Everybody knew my story. I got injured, had a year off and came back,” Groth said.
“Now it’s over, I can reflect on that properly — 2015 was a pretty amazing year.
“We made semis of Davis Cup, that unbelievable quarter-final in Darwin was one of my greatest feelings.
“I played centre court at Wimbledon, made third round at the Australian and topped off by the Newcombe Medal.
“To look back on that, I’m very happy and content to look back on that and makes it easier to walk away.”
But not before one final — and almost certainly explosive — hurrah.
“I’m excited because it’s going to be the closing of this book and the start of the new chapter,” Groth said.
“Hopefully I can find something I really enjoy doing again.
“I’m a passionate, competitive person so hopefully I can do something I’m passionate about.”