Slovakian Groth eligible to play tennis for Australia

SYDNEY - Jarmila Groth will become eligible to play for Australia after she is officially granted citizenship this week, Tennis Australia said yesterday.

SYDNEY - Jarmila Groth will become eligible to play for Australia after she is officially granted citizenship this week, Tennis Australia said yesterday.

The Slovak-born Groth, 22, who is married to Australian tennis professional Sam Groth, will be sworn in during a special ceremony in Canberra today, TA said.

"It's a dream come true and I am incredibly excited and proud to become a citizen of this great nation, whose people have welcomed me so warmly and have made me feel at home since the very first time I came here," said Groth, who gained her residency in 2004.

Groth, who reached a career-high WTA Tour singles ranking of 57 in July, is recovering from an ankle injury suffered at the US Open and is in training ahead of the Australian Open in January.

Tennis Australia's Director of Tennis, Craig Tiley, said the 113th-ranked Groth will become eligible to play in the Fed Cup for Australia immediately her citizenship is formally conferred.

"Tennis Australia and the Australian tennis community in general have been very supportive throughout the entire process and I am really looking forward to representing Australia year-round and doing so successfully," she said.

Groth will make her Australian debut on the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International, beginning on January 3. - AFP

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