Australia’s Sam Groth has claimed his first claycourt singles win on the top-tier ATP circuit with a straight-sets upset over Victor Estrella Burgos in Houston.
Suited to the faster hardcourts and grass, Groth nonetheless accounted for the world No.56 from the Dominican Republic 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 on Monday in the first round of the US claycourt championships.
Groth was typically powerful on serve, racking up 17 aces on his way to a meeting with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in round two.
The 27-year-old Melburnian has recorded qualifying wins on clay and reached the French Open doubles semi-finals in 2014 but hadn’t won a singles match on the ATP World Tour.
“I’m not known for getting on clay too often, but I think I played pretty well out there,” Groth told the ATP website.
“I may have to work a few more clay events into my schedule.
“I feel like I’m serving well, and it bounces a lot higher than a hard court.
“I think that can cause guys a lot of problems.”
Later on Monday, fellow Australians Marinko Matosevic and Lleyton Hewitt play on centre court.
Matosevic will face American Sam Querry while Hewitt battles Japan’s Go Soeda.