A disappointed Sam Groth knows he’s got no one but himself to blame for missing out on a coveted spot on Australia’s Olympic team.
Groth is desperate to compete at the Olympics, and has vowed to have another crack at selection for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, but acknowledged his recent dip in rankings rendered him unselectable.
A string of nightmare first-round grand slam match-ups this year hasn’t helped, with the 2015 Newcombe Medallist losing first up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and world No.5 Kei Nishikori at Wimbledon.
As a result, the Australian’s provisional ranking has plummeted to No.132.
He’s been overtaken on the singles front by top-100 players John Millman, Jordan Thompson and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who has an injury-protected ranking of 81 – with Millman and Kokkinakis earning the Rio spots.
“I’ve no hard feelings towards any of those guys. It’s not their fault I’ve had a bad year,” Groth told AAP.
“It’s all down to my ranking. I was still nominated, I met all the criteria except for my ranking took a dive.
“It would’ve been nice to be a part of it and it was obviously a big goal for me but unfortunately I’m going to have to try and put my hand up again in four years’ time if I’m around.
“I would like to be going down there. It’s not through any choice of my own, trust me.”
Even with the withdrawals of top-20 stars Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, Groth’s only hope was the doubles.
But a decision made last year to focus on his singles game – which led to a career-high of No.53 in the world – in turn hurt his doubles ranking.
That allowed veteran left-hander and world No.48 Chris Guccione to pair with doubles specialist John Peers.
Tennis Australia flirted with the idea of pairing Groth with Peers, but weren’t confident it would be accepted.
“We could’ve taken a risk and nominated `Peersy’ and I, but at the time there was no guarantee that our rankings would’ve got us in,” Groth said.
“For `Peersy’ to miss out would’ve been silly, so they nominated `Gooch’. I wish the boys all the best.”
Groth is into the second round of doubles at Wimbledon alongside Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt.