Sam Groth has apparently grown weary of the life of a touring tennis professional and has decided to retire, saving one last hurrah for the 2018 Australian Open in January.
Groth has been a professional for 13 years, but at the age of 30, he finds his motivation to play on declining, saying in The Herald Sun that he has of late been wrestling, “with the whole life on tour thing.”
Those of us who do not travel constantly often see only the glamour and the big paychecks professional athletes earn, but spending 30 or more weeks per year living out of suitcases, staying in hotel rooms and eating restaurant food seems as though it could be a taxing way to live. Even those in the top ranks, who have the resources to mitigate some of the above issues, have to maintain constant vigilance to allow their bodies to adapt to the intense stresses of competition and the jet lag from being in wildly different time zones all the time.
Groth has been thinking about his future for some time. “It’s been something I’ve been thinking about since Wimbledon,” Groth said.“I went to Newport, a tournament I’ve done really well at in the past. I ‘qualied’, won a round and I was playing John Isner on centre court and part of me just really didn’t want to be there.”
Groth needed 13 years as a pro to get to the same point Nick Kyrgios seems to find himself at on a weekly basis.
Groth said he does not mind competing and doing the requisite work, “But getting out and competing and being away from home became tough.”
Groth made it to the rank of 53 in 2015, his highest ever, but injury has depleted his will to play. He was forced out for a considerable time following shoulder surgery and the fact that he remerged following that is remarkable in and of itself.
He made it as far as the third round of a Grand Slam only in 2015, when he got there at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.