SAVANNAH, May 5, 2017
US-American wild card Marcos Giron advanced to the quarterfinals of the $75,000 St. Joseph’/Candler (SJ/C) Savannah Challenger Thursday afternoon after defeating Blaz Rola, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
In the first set, the 23-year old US-American broke Rola early on and looked like he was going to win the set in rather routine fashion. Rola was able to fight back, but Giron continued to serve well, firing in four aces of the course of the set, and closing out the opening set 7-5.
In the second set, Rola blasted past Giron to take the set 6-1 and even up the match at one set all. In the final and decisive set, Giron reversed this momentum and took an early lead. The 26-year old Slovenian wasn’t ready to go down and attempted a late rally, but on his first match point after exactly two hours of play Giron closed out the match 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
After defeating the No. 1 seed and world No. 108 Darian King on Tuesday evening, Giron took that confidence to the court as he battled against the 2017 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger singles champion who beat him in the first round last week.
“Knowing last week that he was sharper than I was, he went on to win the tournament. It feels good knowing that he is playing solid tennis and for me to go beat him and Darian is definitely a good start,” said Giron.
Giron won the 2014 NCAA singles title as a junior at UCLA, becoming the 11th Bruin to win the NCAA men’s singles crown and the first to do so in eight years. He would finish the 2013-14 season as the No. 1 college tennis player.
After winning the NCAA title, he received a wild card into the 2014 US Open, where he lost to fellow US-American John Isner in the first round. He would then go on to claim the men’s title at the inaugural US Open American Collegiate Invitational, a tournament held at the US Open for U.S. college players. He turned pro later in the year and served as a Davis Cup practice partner for the team’s World Group Playoff in Chicago. In December 2015 Giron had hip surgery in and returned to competition in September 2016, reaching the quarterfinals or better at four events and winning one USTA Pro Circuit title. While recovering from surgery, he served as UCLA’s men’s tennis volunteer assistant coach.
“There have definitely been ups and downs,” said Giron. “Unfortunately the results didn’t follow initially. I had some injuries and have had to play some futures and challengers. Right now I want to stay healthy and play a full year.”
Giron is currently ranked No. 410 in the world and holds five USTA Pro Circuit singles titles, including the $25,000 Futures in Long Beach, Calif., in 2017. He has also won three doubles titles. Giron now faces 2015 SJ/C Savannah Challenger finalist James McGee Friday. The two have never faced each other before in a professional level match. Also advancing to the quarterfinals was No. 6 seed Stefan Kozlov and Joao Pedro Sorgi. Quarterfinal action gets underway Friday at 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, May 4 – RESULTS