Emotional farewell for two Aussie legends
LOCAL favourite Sam Groth's career is over after he and Lleyton Hewitt lost to Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the Australian Open doubles quarter-finals.
The 30-year-old was given a standing ovation on Wednesday after he and fellow veteran Hewitt were beaten by their 11th-seeded opponents 6-4 7-5 on Margaret Court Arena.
Groth, who called time on his singles career after losing to American Taylor Fritz in qualifying for the Australian Open, was in tears during his post-match interview.
"Just thanks to my fiancee Britt, obviously my family and all the coaches that have worked with me over time," he said.
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"And especially the Aussie fans, I appreciate what you guys have done for me. Thank you everybody, I appreciate it." Former world No.1 Hewitt came out of retirement to revive his partnership with Groth one last time.
"Playing in front of great crowds on big home courts like this. It's what you really miss ... the adrenaline rush that we get from coming out here to try and put on a show for you guys," Hewitt said.
"We've played big matches together. That's one of the main reasons why I came back to play.
"I loved playing Davis Cup with this fella.
"He wore his heart on his sleeve and would do anything for the green and gold. "For me to play alongside him for his last event is pretty special." Groth partnered with Samantha Stosur in the mixed doubles with the pair bowing out in the second round.
Cabal and Farah will meet six-time Australian Open champions Bob and Mike Bryan in Friday night's semi-final.