Kyrgios Scrapes by Groth to Win Nottingham-2 Challenger

by John on June 14, 2014

Nick Kyrgios

For young Australian Nick Kyrgios it’s been a coming-of-age spring. In a match pegged as flash versus bash, the 19-year-old hotshot edged fellow countryman big-serving Sam Groth 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7) in the final of the Nottingham-2 Challenger Saturday. It was a classic grass-court duel between two guys who are known to whack the ball pretty good. Serve and volley, short points and big serves. Groth. the fifth seed, served up 22 aces, Kyrgios 19. There were no breaks of serve and nail-biting tiebreakers determined the outcome. The title was Kyrgios’ third Challenger crown this year and fourth of his career in four finals. The rangy 6-foot-4 Aussie won at Sarasota and Savannah in April, and at Sydney in February of 2013. Kyrgios was contacted by the All England Club immediately after the win with a wildcard invitation for Wimbledon. Barring numerous withdrawals, Groth will most likely have to go the qualifier route to attain the main draw at SW19. Kyrgios is projected to jump 28 places to No. 145 when the new rankings are released on Monday, Groth 11 places to No. 125. Both are career highs. Taking nothing away from Kyrgios’ impressive play, double faults at crucial junctures in each of the two tiebreakers contributed to Groth’s downfall, particularly in the first set. Groth double-faulted on the fourth point of the first-set tiebreaker for the only mini-break of the tiebreak. The first 10 points of the second tiebreaker went with the server, until Groth double-faulted on the 11th, handing a match point to Kyrgios. Groth erased it with a scorching backhand return winner, but Kyrgios got the mini-break back on the seven-all point, passing a net-rushing Groth with a laser forehand. Kyrgios closed it out on serve to conclude 92 minutes of high drama. Groth saved three of three break points, Kyrgios five of five. Groth had four double faults to two for the youngster.





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