January 8th, 2019
California’s Giron Wins Inaugural Orlando Open ATP Challenger
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.
With more than 100 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000 to upwards of $160,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world and the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring players. Now in its 40th year, the USTA Pro Circuit has been a launching pad for many of today’s top pros, including Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza. For more info go to www.procircuit.usta.com.