Groth captures Hobart championship

Australia’s Jarmila Groth won the Hobart International with a 6-4, 6-3 victory Saturday over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The sixth-seeded Groth had seven double-faults in the windy conditions but overcame her service problems with some big returns and clinched her second WTA title, adding to Guangzhou last year.

”It was very difficult. There was no rhythm because of the rain. It was a bit scrappy, but I won, so I can’t complain,” Groth said. ”It’s important, it’s the first one at home – I’m very happy about that. I hope it’s not the last one.”

She converted five service breaks against Mattek-Sands, who was aiming for her first WTA title and a victory to complement her role in the United States’ victory in the Hopman Cup the previous week.

Her form over the two tournaments had Mattek-Sands enthusiastic ahead of the Australian Open starting Monday.

”I’m really excited. This is the best beginning I’ve had in a long time,” she said. ”I’m healthy, and that’s the important thing.”