Australia’s Sam Groth emerged as the winner of the Aegon Manchester Trophy today after beating compatriot Luke Saville in straight sets.
The world number 72 defeated Saville 7-5 6-1 in a sell-out final that lasted just 62 minutes at The Northern Lawn Tennis Club in Didsbury.
Groth’s name will be on the trophy alongside legends such as Pete Sampras and John McEnroe and the 27-year-old has admitted he couldn’t have played any better.
He said: “It’s pretty amazing to have my name alongside names like Sampras and McEnroe on the trophy. Any time you win a tournament it’s a great feeling and it’s a great way for me to start my grass court campaign.
“There’s always a few nerves in a final, especially when it’s the first tournament on a surface and it was probably a match where I was the favourite and felt like I should win.
“Once I got that first break back at 5-4 in the first I rolled off nine games in a row and really built my confidence and through that 20-25 minute period I couldn’t have really played much better.”
Groth’s opponent Saville started the match very strongly getting the first break of serve but his form dampened towards the end of the first set and never improved.
However Saville insisted that the Manchester Trophy is now the best Challenger on the circuit and overall was happy with his performances.
“Overall I’m pretty happy with the week. I had to battle from a set behind in three of my matches this week, so if you would have told me then that I’d be sitting here on finals day I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
“I’m happy with how I’ve bounced back and started to play better and better but unfortunately it wasn’t to be today.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Manchester, this has to be the best Challenger on the circuit.”
BEST CHALLENGER: Luke Saville (left) says Didsbury’s Manchester Trophy is the best on the worldwide Challenger circuit
Groth’s next challenge comes in the form of the ATP 250 tournament in Stuttgart next week while other players such as Saville will be competing for the Aegon Surbiton Trophy.
Images courtesy of James Jordan Photography, with thanks.