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January 8, 2015

Sam Groth


S. GROTH/L. Kubot
6‑4, 6‑7, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tell us your feelings.  I think you saved some break points at 4‑3; could have gone 5‑3.
SAM GROTH:  Yeah, I had some chances in the first set but Lukasz is a tough opposition.  I mean, it's almost a little bit like playing myself.  He's serving big and he's coming forward and he's a little unpredictable, but he's a quality opposition.
I mean, played quarterfinal at Wimbledon before, so you don't do that if you can't play.  He's struggled a bit with injury over the last year or so.  No, he's a tough opponent.

Q.  He's where you want to be.  He'd been in the top 100 for four years and then had an injury last year and dropped out.  He's where you want to be, No. 41 in the world.
SAM GROTH:  Yeah, for sure.  You don't get to 41 if you can't play.  He's been consistently there for the last few years and been doing really well in his doubles.
It's probably not that different to sort of the path that I want to take.  He took a lot of confidence I think from getting his doubles ranking up initially, and then had good result in singles.  I think he won a tour event few years ago, and like you said, he's been consistently in that top 100.
For me, after coming off the Lleyton match, to back up against another quality opposition is a big step forward for me.

Q.  How you going to back up?  Pretty long match; two and a half hours; three sets.  What are you going to do tonight?
SAM GROTH:  I've already gone in and had a good stretch.  I've already had a massage.  I've had some food.  Yeah, the priority is to get my body right and get all the things right for tomorrow.
I think this is where the off‑season training comes in as well.  You train not just to put the work in in a match, but also the ability to recover day‑to‑day.

Q.  There is always so much talk about your serve.  First two points of the tiebreak, backhand winners.  The backhand really serves you well, doesn't it?
SAM GROTH:  Yeah, I think it's my most solid shot.  My forehand is probably a little more dangerous, but the lob I hit the second point of the tiebreak I pretty happy with it.
He had been closing the net down really well.  He gets really tight.  I knew that.  I was sort of aware of it.  The game I had break points in I hit a couple winners past him up the line, so I knew he was sort of going to be sitting on that pass.
Lucky I was able to execute.

Q.  Milos next.  Thoughts?
SAM GROTH:  He's tough.  He's top 10 in the world for a son.  He's been consistent over the last couple years.  I played him a couple years ago.  I lost 5 and 4, but it was sort of my first match‑‑ it was in Washington, and it was my first time I had won a tour level match for quite a while.
I played him on a night match on a center court, and it was probably the first time I played on a big court like that of.  I'm a lot more comfortable going out there now.
Like I say, I'm confident with the off‑season I've had, and now I've got two matches under my belt, two pretty contrasting matches.
I played well in both, but one where I sort of‑‑ the scoreline against Lleyton was quite easy, under an hour; and tonight to play two and a half hours, I've had two pretty contrasting matches, and I take confidence out of both of them.

Q.  Few more aces.
SAM GROTH:  Yeah, hopefully more my way.  Yeah, I think it's pretty obvious what to expect.  You got two guys, two biggest servers on tour at the moment.
Hopefully I can get a few more of his back than he can get of mine.

Q.  A bit like playing yourself in some respects service‑wise.  How do you read the serve, or do you just try and position yourself?
SAM GROTH:  Today or tomorrow?

Q.  No, no, Tomorrow.
SAM GROTH:  I haven't even spoken to Ben about it yet.  We'll come up with a plan.  I mean, that's what we do.  You look at who you play and you come up with the best plan.  Obviously I will focus a lot ‑‑ because of the way I play, I focus a lot on what I'm doing, especially on my service games.
Yeah, we'll work out the best strategy to try to nullify his serve.

Q.  How do you deal with the expectations now?  It does different things to different players, but how do you handle it?
SAM GROTH:  I thought I handled it pretty well today.  Don't think I could have played a much better first game to break.  I felt pretty good when I walked on court.  I love the support.  I love having the support and having the crowd behind me, and hopefully they're there again tomorrow.  I love that feeling of the crowd being fired up and the crowd cheering for me.
Maybe the expectation, it's there, but I think I'm old enough now and mature enough that I deal with that in my own way, and I feel quite good with it.

Q.  I think your fastest serve is 232.  Can you get it any faster?
SAM GROTH:  I'm not trying to hit it fast, I'm trying hit it in.  If I'm hitting my spots and I'm hitting it 210 or 220 or 230, if I hit my spot it's hard to return.  Yeah, for me it's a variation.  It's hitting my spots.
Sometimes my wide slide is at 170 moving two meters sideways is more effective than the 230s.  I've had a couple of guys ‑‑ Lleyton and Lukasz both ‑‑ get on to a couple 230s and rifle them back at my feet if it doesn't hit its spot.
Yeah, it's more about winning the point.  To be honest, right now I'm not worried about hitting the fastest serve.  I'm just worried about winning each point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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