Jarmila Groth (AUS) is ready to challenge the world’s best at the Australian Open after claiming her maiden WTA singles title on home soil at the 2011 Moorilla Hobart International.
In her first ever main draw appearance at the tournament, Groth defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) in tough conditions in Hobart.
Despite exchanging breaks of serve throughout the match, Groth took the ascendency in the second set to defeat Mattek-Sands, 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing, [but] even today wasn’t as pretty as I hoped for,” Groth said.
“There were a couple times when the wind came down so you could play proper tennis… but most the time it was just try to run and try to fight as much as possible.
“It’s my second title and it’s [a] home title so [is it my] highest point? Probably, yeah. I think I played pretty well, and hopefully it’s not the last one and I can still improve.”
Australia’s No.2 player has been in career-best form this week, defeating No.4 seed Roberta Vinci (ITA) and powerful doubles partner Klara Zakopalova (CZE) without dropping a set for the entire tournament.
After reaching the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International and success at the Moorilla Hobart International, Groth was confident in her own game heading into the Australian Open.
“I still have a couple days hopefully to prepare in Melbourne so I will leave in the morning , practice and I’ll try to do what I did this week…hopefully it’s going to be enough again,” Groth said.
“I hope they’ll come and cheer for me and I’ll try my best not to disappoint.”
Currently ranked No.40 in the world, Groth is expected to break into the world’s top 35 players after securing the title in Hobart.
Groth enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2010 with fourth round appearances at the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as her first career WTA singles title.
Mattek-Sands was unhappy to lose in the final but drew a number of positives form her performance in the tournament.
“I think I served pretty well today. I mean it was up and down but the times I did, I got some aces in…I’m happy with that,” Mattek-Sands said,
“I’m really excited – this is the best beginning I’ve had in a long time. I’m healthy, and that’s the most important thing.”
Currently ranked No.59 in the world, the American is also projected to break into the top 50 after advancing to the final.
Groth will now head to Melbourne where she has been drawn to meet No.21 seed Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) in the Australian Open, while Mattek-Sands will face a qualifier in her opening match.