All anyone can talk about is the 163 mph blast Sam Groth reportedly served up at a Challenger-level event in South Korea a few years back, an unofficial speed mark not recognized by the ATP. Although the 26-year-old Aussie indeed possesses a bone-crushing serve (he’s averaging 16.3 aces per match in 2014), Groth will need a whole lot more on Friday night if he plans on registering the first Top 10 win of his career.
Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer comes in with a 23-1 record in night matches in the 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, and he will be in his element against his No. 104-ranked opponent, who won his first US Open match on Tuesday (def. Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 7-6, 6-3), a half-dozen years after his first qualifying attempt.
Coming off his 22nd career ATP Masters 1000 title at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Cincinnati, where the Swiss dispatched the likes of Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils, proud papa Federer is playing the kind of calm-cool-and-collected tennis that made him and unbeatable force on the Flushing cement between 2004 and 2008. It could be a quick night for Mr. Groth, who'll be in new territory under the lights in this primetime matchup with the all-time Slam king.