Former University of California-Los Angeles NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron won the inaugural Orlando Open, an ATP Challenger Tour event, last Sunday after upsetting top-seeded Darian King of the Barbados 6-4, 6-4 in the final at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
It was the first pro circuit title for the unseeded 25-year-old California native in approximately 1-1/2 years, and his seventh overall since collecting his first two in 2013 while still in college.
“I couldn’t be happier, to be honest,” Giron said. “I spent part of my off-season [at the USTA National Campus] and it was an awesome training week. For me to win it here at the ‘Home of American Tennis’ is just amazing. I played a fantastic match today and the whole week I played well too. It’s just an amazing feeling to come out on top.”
Giron lost his first set of the tournament to Argentine Andrea Collarini before grinding out a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-0 win. He then beat four consecutive seeds — No. 6 Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus, No. 9-seeded American Dennis Novikov, No. 14 Mathias Bourgue of France, and No. 12 Gastao Elias — to reach the final without dropping a set.
King in his quarterfinal needed three sets to work past No. 5 seed Norbert Gombos of Slovakia 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, and in his semifinal defeated unseeded American wild card Michael Redlicki 6-4, 6-2.
Upon winning the NCAA singles championship in 2014 Giron received a US Open main draw wild card, losing to John Isner in the first round in straight sets. In 2016 he underwent double hip surgery.
The 5-foot-11 Giron after the Orlando title rose to No. 251 on the ATP World Tour rankings, just shy of his career-high No. 238 mark set last October. The 26-year-old King was looking for his first ATP Challenger Tour title since March 2018 at Indian Wells, Calif., and he dropped to 3-3 in career challenger finals.
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