HOUSTON, November 18, 2019
Sunday’s final in Houston served up one of the most epic and unprecedented matches in Oracle Challenger Series history, with US-American Marcos Giron saving six match points in a final set tiebreaker to defeat No. 3 seed Ivo Karlovic from Croatia 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(9).
“I was just thinking ‘what a tournament it’s been, what a year it’s been’ and swung away.” That is what Giron was saying to himself down 1-6 in the tie-break of the third set to one of the game’s all-time greatest servers. “I cannot believe I was able to win that match.”
🏆 That winning feeling.
— OracleTennis (@OracleTennis) November 17, 2019
Giron withstood 23 aces and won six points more than his opponent to secure victory in two hours and two minutes.
“I was thinking about how this is the last tournament of the year, a flashback through the season,” recollected the 26-year-old from California about being down five consecutive match points, quoted by the Oracle Challenger website.
“I was in the moment but also out of it, in a weird space. Next thing you know, I played a couple good points to get back to 6-3 and I have no idea how I won the next two points on his serve. I thought, well, this is it, it’s been a good ride. To come away with the win is surreal. I couldn’t ask for a better way to end the year.”
Following his maiden triumph in Orlando, Giron lifted his second ATP Challenger trophy and took away from Texas $21,600 in prize money as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.
Karlovic became the first player aged 40 and over to reach a final. The 40-year-old from Zagreb will finish inside the Top 100 for the 17th straight season.