Groth bows out in Hall of Fame at Newport

Australia’s Sam Groth has succumbed to the patience of sixth-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the second round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

The big-serving Groth blew a 5-1 lead in the first set before going down 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a rain-delayed match.

Playing on the stadium court two days after calling a side court “ridiculously bad,” the 28-year-old Mannarino lost the first three games of the opening set and fell behind 5-1 before rallying on Newport’s grass courts to reach the quarter-finals.

Play was delayed for nearly three hours after Mannarino won the first set.

“I was just trying to focus on my game (during the delay) and what I have to do,” he said. “It worked pretty well. When I got back on court I was pretty consistent.”

Fourth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus beat seventh-seeded Dudi Sela of Israel 6-2 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals.

Third-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg also reached the quarter-finals, toppling Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.

The 31-year-old Baghdatis kissed the court when the match ended after giving a long embrace at the net to long-time friend Sela.

The Cypriot is seeking his fifth career ATP title.

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