Groth Wears Down Pavic to Win Rimouski Challenger

by John on March 23, 2014

Groth @Rimouski

Someone had to win his first Challenger title Sunday afternoon. Aussie Sam Groth made sure it was him as he defeated Ante Pavic of Croatia 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the final of the Rimouski Challenger in Canada. Coming in, Groth was 0-3 in finals on the ATP’s second-tier circuit and Pavic was making his maiden appearance in one. The big-serving Groth, seeded No. 4, battled through some shaky moments in the opening set, steadied in the second and rode his booming serve in the key moments throughout. With the victory, Groth, will surpass his career-high of No. 157 in tomorrow’s updated ATP rankings. He currently stands at No. 171 in the world. Groth was broken in the first game of the match, while having some issues with a linesman and the chair umpire. He did serve two aces, but also double-faulted twice. Pavic’s serving contributed to further frustration for Groth, as the 6-foot-5 Croat, ranked No. 229, saved six break points in his first three service games, leaving the Aussie berating himself and trailing 4-2. Groth held and then broke in the next game. Service prevailed to force a tiebreaker, with Groth winning four straight points from 3-3 to take it handily. Pavic held comfortably in the first game of the second set, but, with Groth starting to hone in on his return, was broken in his next two service games to fall behind 4-1. The ensuing game was crazy, to say the least. Groth held to go up 5-1, but needed to save three break points, while double-faulting four times. “I got rid of a lot of nerves in that 4-1 game and I knew I had it,” Groth said. Indeed he did. He served it out at 5-2 with a love game. “I take a lot of confidence out of it and I genuinely feel I’m moving in the right direction and starting to prove to a lot of people that I’m more than a serve,” Groth said. Groth had 12 aces, giving him 81 for the tournament, and nine double faults, while Pavic served eight aces and committed six doubles. The 26-year-old Aussie saved six of seven break points, Pavic six of nine.







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