Expected to be tested in the first round, Rafael Nadal made light work of the big-serving Australian to setup a French Open 2016 second round clash against Facundo Bagnis on Thursday. Nadal looked his former flawless-on-clay self in that first round match against Groth, and the left-hander will hope for another similar performance against his Argentine opponent.
While the likes of Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka struggled in their respective opening round matches, Nadal made sure he stayed on the court for as little time as possible, blowing Groth away 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. Nadal was just, well Nadal, in the first round against Groth, who came into this French Open match without playing a single warmup clay court tournament.
Not that had he had some practice, the result would have been different. In the first round on Tuesday, Nadal was just in the zone, barely allowing Groth any breathing room, while firing precise winner after precise winner. In the end, the 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 scoreline flattered Groth, if anything, such was Nadal's dominance.
"It's obvious that this was a good start for me," Nadal was quoted as saying by Roland Garros' official website after the masterful win. "The most important thing I had to do was return well, and then play without too many mistakes.
"It's obvious that this opponent plays better on faster surfaces. In general, I played a solid match. Feeling the support of the crowd is always special for me here, so thank you to them for that."
While Nadal's first round opponent Groth was ranked 100 in the world, his second round rival Bagnis is just a notch lower at 99. So, on paper at least, Nadal should not have too many problems, but keeping the same level of play will be crucial for the Spaniard, if he is to fashion another smooth passage, into the third round of the French Open 2016.
Where to Watch Live
Rafael Nadal vs Sam Groth is the second match on the Philippe Chatrier Court, with the first match set for an 11 a.m local time (2:30 p.m IST, 10 a.m BST, 5 a.m ET) start. Below are the TV and live streaming options.
India: TV: Neo Sports and Neo Prime.
UK: TV: ITV. Live Streaming: ITV Player.
Europe: TV: Eurosport. Live Streaming: Eurosport Player.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel Play.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: BeIN Sports. Live Streaming: BeIN Sports Connect.
Asia: TV: Fox Sports.
International: Radio: Roland Garros Radio.