Australia's Sam Groth plays a shot during his match against Dominic Thiem of Austria at the Brisbane International.
Australia's Sam Groth plays a shot during his match against Dominic Thiem of Austria at the Brisbane International. Tertius Pickard

Groth falls to world No.8 in Brisbane

TENNIS: Jordan Thompson is the last Australian standing at the Brisbane International after big-serving Sam Groth's loss to fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the second round.

Groth, who had an injury-hit year in 2016, slugged it out in the first set with the world No.8 but the Austrian eased through the second to reach the quarter-finals with a 7-6 6-3 victory at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

The 29-year-old Australian wildcard took Thiem, six years his junior, to a first-set tiebreak but a long forehand gave the Austrian the set and he never looked back.

There were some encouraging signs for Groth, who also has a wildcard for the Australian Open, after a wretched few months.

Thiem, who had a first-round bye, will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals after the Bulgarian defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-2-6-4 earlier on Thursday.

The former finalist and seventh seed moved through to his fourth quarter-final in Brisbane but he had to fight back from 0-40 down when serving for the match.

Meanwhile, Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza will play in her first semi-final in Brisbane after defeating fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The French Open champion completed a 7-5 6-4 victory in one hour and 50 minutes, more than an hour less than the time it took her in either of her first two matches in Brisbane.

Muguruza will face Alize Cornet in the last four after the Frenchwoman upset No.2 seed Dominika Cibulkova.

The world No.41 had a poor record against her Slovakian opponent, having won just twice in the seven times they had played, but won this encounter in straight sets 6-3 7-5 on Pat Rafter Arena.


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