NEWCOMBE medallist Sam Groth has been awarded a wildcard into next month's Australian Open.
Formerly ranked No.53 in the world, the Victorian has struggled with injury this season.
The powerful serve-volleyer lost in the quarter-finals of last week's Open wildcard play-offs but Tennis Australia believes Groth deserves to be spared qualifying as he rebuilds form and confidence.
And his loyalty to the Australian Davis Cup cause was also a factor.
"After surgery in late 2015, and a tough start to this year, Sam is fighting his way back to his best form,” TA managing director (performance) Wally Masur said.
"Throughout, he's been great for Australia in Davis Cup, he is a real team man.
"This wildcard is a reward for his efforts, and with a good pre-season under his belt let's hope he can take advantage of the opportunity.”
Groth was thankful for the opportunity.
"I felt it was a bit of a struggle coming into 2016, I was definitely a bit underdone after foot surgery at the end of 2015 and I came into the Aussie summer without going through a full pre-season training block,” he said.
"The end of year has gone pretty well, and I finished the year winning the Challenger in Vegas. I've also been able to go through a full training block and feel as though I'm definitely finding my form and confidence.
"I'm really excited, and grateful to Tennis Australia, for a wildcard into the Australian Open, it's my favourite event. I've always loved playing on the big stage, in front of so many family, friends and supportive Aussie fans.”
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