Kyrgios and Groth in all-Aussie showdown at Aegon Nottingham Challenge

Friday, June 13, 2014

 Teenage qualifier Nick Kyrgios faces fifth-seed Sam Groth in an all-Australian final at the Aegon Nottingham Challenge.

Kyrgios took less than an hour to beat Slovakia's Miloslav Mecir Jr 6-3 6-2, while big-hitting Groth served 23 aces on the way to edging past America's Rajeev Ram 7-6(5) 7-6(4).

Both Australians have won ATP Challenger titles already this year with Groth clinching the first of his career in Rimouski, Canada, while 19-year-old Kyrgios triumphed in consecutive American tournaments in Sarasota and Savannah.

Kyrgios has won seven matches to reach Saturday's grass-court final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, having gone out early in the Aegon Trophy at the same venue last week.

"I'm really proud of myself because I've bounced back well after going out in the first round here last week," said Kyrgios.

"I'll go in with a fair bit of confidence having been in those challenger finals, but I know Sam has been playing some unbelievable tennis on grass to earn his spot."

In a remarkable semi-final battle Groth not only thumped 23 aces, he also managed to save all seven break points he faced against Ram.

While the Australia failed to trouble the American's service game – he did not bring up a solitary break point – he played the tie-breakers to perfection.

Victory was Groth's first ever over Ram, and the first time the big-hitter has ever managed to take a set off the lanky World No. 156 in four meetings.

"Coming through in the semi-final of a big tournament like this leading up to Wimbledon is a good feeling," said Groth.

"When it mattered I came up with some good serves and volleys."

Groth goes into the final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre on a high, having reached the men's doubles semi-finals at the French Open before quickly finding his feet on British grass this week.

"It's been an emotional couple of weeks, from my first Grand Slam semi-final of doubles and now into the final here with limited preparation on changing surfaces," said Groth.

"Hopefully I can ride the wave for one more match."

In men's doubles action, the top seeded pairing of Rameez Junaid and Michael Venus overcame the Ruben Bemelmans and Go Soeda duo 4-6 7-6(1) 10-6.

Junaid's triumph alongside New Zealand's Venus continued a trend of Australian success, with Jarmila Gajdosova overcoming fellow qualifier Ons Jabeur 6-3 7-6(3) to set up a semi-final against fourth seed Andrea Hlavackova.

Gajdosova is chasing glory on two fronts in Nottingham, teaming up with compatriot Arina Rodionova in Saturday's doubles final against Veronica Cepede Royg and Stephanie Voght.

Elsewhere, American Nicole Gibbs sealed a gutsy straight sets singles quarter-final win against Lesia Tsurenko, serving out the win 6-4 6-4 despite going down with a knee injury in the final game. While the World No. 159 limped off court after the match, she insists she will be ready for Saturday's semi-final meeting with third seed Timea Bacsinszky.

Entry to the Aegon Nottingham Challenge is free for all spectators.

For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit




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