Former tennis star turned commentator Sam Groth has claimed victory in winning an election to the parliament of Victoria.
Groth has gained the upper hand for the Liberal Party in the marginal seat of Nepean. The former world No. 53 was chosen as the Liberal candidate for the seat earlier this year, and he has successfully won the once-safe Liberal seat, unseating sitting Labor MP Chris Brayne.
Paul Mercurio, the host of Dancing with the Stars and a former contestant on Strictly Ballroom, who just won Labor's bid for the Hastings seat nearby, will join him in the Legislative Assembly.
In an interview with 9News' election panel before his victory, the Aussie expressed confidence that he would win and sensed a "change in the air."
"It's been extremely positive. I'm confident, if we are to have any chance tonight of the Liberal Party and the Coalition getting into government in this state, Nepean is the one that has to turn. The voters have been telling me that and I get the feeling there is a change in the air tonight," Groth said.
"I'm very happy, I haven't had the chance to have a beer yet" – Sam Groth after his victory
Sam Groth, who campaigned on promises to spend $175 million building an overpass at the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and $340 million renovating Rosebud Hospital, said he was delighted to win. He then jokingly remarked that he hasn't even had an opportunity to drink a beer and celebrate yet.
"I certainly wasn't expecting them to call it this early in the night, I'm very happy. I haven't had the chance to have a beer yet," Groth told the Daily Mail.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, he said that for the majority of the year, he had focused all of his efforts on regaining the seat for the Liberal Party.
"I’ve run a very local campaign in Nepean. Basically, since February I’ve applied every day to winning this seat back," Groth revealed.
Sam Groth was a force to be reckoned with on the court back in his playing days. He had a highest ATP singles ranking of World No. 53 and a doubles ranking of World No. 24.
The 2014 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships' semi-final appearance was Groth's greatest singles performance, and at the ATP Challenger in Busan in 2012, he delivered the fastest serve on record at 263 km/h (163.4 mph). The Aussie worked for the Nine Network for WWOS after calling it a career in 2018.