Groth Serves Way Past Beck to Advance to Rimouski Semifinals

by John on March 21, 2014

S Groth

Big-serving Sam Groth recovered from a first-set walkabout and the shock of squandering three match points to save two match points of his own and defeat German Andreas Beck 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) in the quarterfinals of the Rimouski Challenger in Canada Friday afternoon. Groth, ranked No. 171, lived dangerously all day, but whenever he needed to he seemed to come up with a huge serve on the crucial points. Groth, seeded No. 4, won only five points on his serve in the opening set, getting broken twice, and looking every bit like he was going to make an early exit. Beck, a 28-year-old left-hander seeded sixth, didn’t know what hit him in the second set, as Groth, waking up from his lethargy, started firing cannonballs at will. Groth earned his first break point of the match in the sixth game, but Beck, who achieved a career-high No. 33 ranking in 2009, managed to hold. Beck was pressured again in the eighth game, fending off four break points before succumbing on the fifth. That was all Groth needed as he served out the set with an ace, his 12th of the stanza. Beck, currently ranked No. 178, held to open the third and began to dial in a bit on Groth’s serve as the big Aussie’s serving percentage dropped. Groth saved two break points in the second game, while serving five aces, and three more in the eighth. The Melbourne resident got what appeared to be the deciding break in the next game to take a 5-4 lead with the match on his racket. Up 40-0, Groth got a case of the jitters and dropped his serve. Down 6-5 and 7-6 in the tiebreaker, Groth saved both match points and ended up winning it serving an ace at 9-8. Groth served 28 aces in the match, including 15 in the third set, and had seven double faults. Beck had five aces and five double faults. The Aussie saved five of eight breaks points, while Beck defended five of seven. Beck won five more points, 102 to 97. Groth will face American Austin Krajicek in one of the two semifinals tomorrow, the Aussie’s first semi of the year.

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