By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray faces Sam Groth in round two of the Australian Open
- Head to head: 0-0
- Wawrinka, Ferrer and Hewitt in action
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA- Andy Murray will face a big serving test in round two of the Australian Open when he takes to the court against Australia’s Sam Groth.
The British number one is due third on Rod Laver arena against the world number 67 at approximately 2PM local time (3AM GMT).
Murray has never faced Groth in singles competition, but British tennis fans will be familiar with the threat he poses, as will the second seed.
Groth was part of the Australian Davis Cup side that lost to Great Britain in the semi finals last year. He partnered Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles against the Murray brothers which was edged by the Brits in five sets.
The Aussie possesses one of the biggest serves on tour and often likes to come to the net behind it. It is a very different proposition and task than Murray’s opening round match against Alexander Zverev.
“Yeah, I mean, first time playing him in singles, you know. He’s a big guy. Serves big, and, you know, serve and volley tactics. He tries to get forward as much as he can. You know, you don’t see many players like that now.” Murray said in his press conference via Ausopen.com.
“You know, that will be different. Obviously he will have the crowd behind him, as well. He’s a competitive guy, too. Fights extremely hard. Has a great attitude. He will make it tough for me because he has a different game style to a lot of the players now.
“Yeah, I’ll be ready for that. I normally enjoy playing against the guys that come forward and stuff, so hopefully I can return well and, you know, pass well. I’ll need to if I want to win.”
The opening round victory was a routine one for Murray as he bulldozed the young German 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. The Brit’s defensive skills proved to be too much for Zverev who could never really get into the match. Once again his court awareness, speed and ability to counter will be key against Groth.
The Aussie snapped his losing streak by defeating France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-6(6) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Murray is bidding for his first Australian open title after losing out in four previous finals. However there is the lingering birth of his first child. Murray had set that he would withdraw from the tournament if his wife gives birth during it.
Elsewhere, Lleyton Hewitt could play the last match of his career when he faces Spain’s David Ferrer. The Aussie is set to retire after the tournament and become the Davis Cup captain for his home country.
Hewitt is due second to last on Rod Laver arena, and it is set to be a huge battle between two of the biggest fighters on tour. It will be a scrap, the crowd will be wild, and the two time grand slam champion is bidding to prolong his career for at least one more match.
2014 champion, Stan Wawrinka will face serve and volley artist Radek Stepanek on Hisense Arena. Bernard Tomic is also in action against Italian Simone Bolelli on Margaret Court Arena.
You can check out the full schedule here- Tennis Full Draws and Schedules
The Australian open round two continues Thursday at 11AM local (0:00 GMT).
|FOLLOW BRITWATCH – SPORTS IN GENERAL, BRITS IN PARTICULAR!|