"It's been one hell of a ride," tweeted Sam Groth late last night, with one retirement in the rear-view mirror and another on the horizon. The Australian doubles standout, who last week was forced to retire from a second-round singles match in Las Vegas due to injury, announced that he'll be retiring from the sport after next year's Australian Open.
The Melbourne resident will surely give both the singles and doubles events a go Down Under, health permitting, in what will be an emotional sendoff to an entertaining and enthralling career. A fan favorite and former rugby player, Groth inspired plenty on congratulations and well-wishes when the news broke:
Yesterday, before the news broke, Groth blogged for My Tennis Life about his time in Las Vegas—where he celebrated his 30th birthday:
It was an eventful week both on and off the court in Las Vegas. Going back to Vegas was something I was looking forward to. After a month of struggling, returning to where I had won last year made me feel confident for the week ahead.
Let’s start with my week off court. Monday night was the player party - a dinner and acrobatic show in The Orleans Hotel where we were staying. I was also given a birthday cake from the tournament, which was a nice surprise. Wednesday I went to my first ever NHL hockey game, between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Buffalo Sabres. The atmosphere and fan experience was probably the best I have experienced and, in watching it, felt that in tennis we can still do more to enhance the fan experience.
I drew Mikael Torpegaard, from Denmark, who had been ranked No. 1 in the NCAA tennis rankings while playing at Ohio State. I played a good match, probably my best performance of the month, coming through 6-3 6-4. Unfortunately, as has been the case for a large part of this year, I developed a little strain in my right hip and wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday. I went out of court and after three games wasn’t able to continue in my second round match.
Thursday was my 30th birthday. After withdrawing from my match, I made plans for dinner at Tao with a couple of the Aussie guys as well as my agent, Matt, and JF and Owen from the tournament who have become good friends over the past year.
I’ve decided to head home to Melbourne, and take stock of where I’m currently at. A series of little injuries has definitely made the last couple of months tough for me to get things moving. I’ll make sure to let you know what the next few weeks will hold for me.
About My Tennis Life Series:
In February of 2017, Tennis Channel launched its first multi-platform content series My Tennis Life featuring two professional tennis players, Nicole Gibbs (USA) and Sam Groth (Australia), as they traverse the globe in search of valuable ATP and WTA points. The series gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the professional tour. Tennis fans across the globe will witness Sam and Nicole’s efforts to break through respectively on the ATP and WTA Tours, and the challenges they face while trying to improve their game and career earnings.