Sam Groth believes he can continue Australia’s flying start to Wimbledon by turning the men’s draw upside down with a rollicking win over Roger Federer on Saturday.
Groth’s 7-5 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over housemate and travelling partner James Duckworth and Casey Dellacqua’s fearless 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 dispatch of 17th seed Elina Svitolina has given Australia five players in the third round of a grand slam for the first time in 11 years.
But Groth, for one, says he’s done not yet.
Eleven wins on English grass in the past month and a centre-court taste against Federer at the US Open in September have the late-blooming 27-year-old thinking anything is possible.
“In one way it’s a dream come true from where I’ve come from,” said Groth, who three years ago was playing Australian Rules football in suburban Melbourne.
“But at the same time I feel like it’s a match I can definitely win.
“I said after I played him in New York, that if I could go out and play the match again, I’d know a lot more about how I’d feel and how I’d handle the situation and have a better go at it.
“I’ll try and draw on that experience to give it my best shot. I’m not going to be favourite. I’m going to be the big underdog, but I feel like I can win.”
Duckworth does too after watching the owner of the world’s fastest recognised serve whiz 24 aces past him on Thursday.
“With that serve on these kind of courts in these conditions, he’s got a good shot against anyone,” Duckworth said.
“He’s going to hold serve a lot of times. He’s probably going to take a few blokes to tiebreakers quite a few times and then anything can happen.
“He’s got a chance for sure.”
Win or lose, Groth – already assured of a cheque for at least STG77,000 ($A157,300), the biggest single pay day of his career – is promising to savour the experience.
“I grew up playing on grass and Wimbledon was always the tournament I grew up wanting to play,” he said.
“But to be playing here and to play the greatest player in the game, the guy who has dominated this tournament more than anyone else and won it seven times, I’d love to play on centre court, soak it up and give it my best shot.”