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January 3, 2017

Sam Groth

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

S. GROTH/P. Herbert

6-3, 5-7, 7-5

Q. What went through your mind, all those set points against you in the second set?
SAM GROTH: Not much. Not much, really. I was actually having a bit of a hard time serving from that end. There was a bit of a head wind. It was actually pretty heavy conditions, especially it's been so hot.

Every day at practice here it's been so hot. It was definitely different out there today. It was actually tough serving from that end. I was finding it tough. I don't know. I was just trying to find a way to get through that game.

Q. You seemed to be able to find a way through.
SAM GROTH: I think I struggled at that end. Early on in the third set, I had a tough game. After I got through that game, I actually played much better from that end and much better for the rest of the set.

For me, I was just trying to get a win. It's been a while since I had a tour-level win. After last year it was sort of nice to start the year with a win, that's for sure.

Q. No niggles, for a change?
SAM GROTH: No. I feel good. Foot feels good, body feels good, had a full off-season. I felt like I was moving better today than I probably moved for the whole of last year.

Q. How did it feel getting that win? It's been since July that you have had an ATP "W" next to your name.
SAM GROTH: Yeah, it was nice. I felt last year I probably came in with a lot of expectation on me. I had a really good year in 2015, and, yeah, won the Newcombe Medal and came in with a lot of sponsors. My face was sort of everywhere for the summer.

Came in underdone after having foot surgery in the preseason, and, yeah, didn't really -- you know, my year never really took off. And especially with that expectation, I really sort of struggled with it, especially didn't have confidence in what I was doing after having no preseason and felt like I was underdone the whole year.

Coming in today, you know, I feel like everyone had sort of written me off a little bit, but I've had a proper offseason. My ranking's dropped, so there's not that expectation probably. But from the public, for myself, it still is.

I feel confident I have done the work, and it's a bit of a refresh button for me and certainly nice to get that win.

Q. Is it that frustration that's driving you at the moment, you weren't able to do things you were poised to do last year?
SAM GROTH: I don't think it's a frustration. I think it's just -- you know, I feel good now. Last year was disappointing. But, you know, it wasn't the worst year of my life.

Yeah, I had some great experiences and I went to the Olympics, played centre court at Rod Laver, played Rafa at the French, played Nishi at Wimbledon, bought two houses. I had a -- my year wasn't like the worst year of my life. It was just a bad year on the tennis court.

It's not like I'm in a bad place mentally or I feel bad with my life. Everything is okay. You know, it was just a bad tennis year, and, you know, hopefully now I can bounce back.

Q. What else does this year offer you going forward?
SAM GROTH: I don't know. I don't want to speculate too much. I'd like to get back to the top 100 as quickly as possible. I feel like my best level, I have shown in the past it is good enough to be close to 50 in the world.

I don't see any reason why, if I do all the right things, new coach, Sirianni, working with me and that's going great. You know, start the year with a win, and you don't want to speculate too much, but it would be nice to get back to the top 100 pretty quickly.

It's nice to have a wildcard here and a wildcard in the Australian Open, but it would be nice to be back there on my ranking, as well.

Q. No. 10 player next, Thiem. Have you played him before?
SAM GROTH: I played him twice last year. Lost to him in Miami. I think it was like 5 and 2 or something. I had some chances in that first set. Then I actually lost to him in Stuttgart where he won, lost to him 6 and 6 and had a bunch of chases, no breaks in that match.

He's a guy I've played a couple of times, so I know him, but he knows me, as well. For me, I've got nothing to lose again. Not the expectation on me. It's all going to be on him, first match of the year after a good year he had last year. For me, I can come out free swinging a little bit.

Q. A wildcard to Melbourne. Are you playing Sydney?
SAM GROTH: I'm playing challenger next week in Canberra. Just gonna worry about here first.

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