Sunday, January 6, 2019

Giron Wins First ATP Challenger Title in Orlando; Holt Claims Second ITF Pro Singles Title in Los Angeles

It was a good day for Southern Californian men today, with former UCLA Bruin Marcos Giron and current USC Trojan Brandon Holt claiming titles in the two pro events being held this week in the United States.

Giron, whose last title came more than a year and a half ago at a China Futures, won his first ATP Challenger today with a 6-4, 6-4 win over top seed Darian King of Barbados at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona Florida.  The 25-year-old from Thousand Oaks California led throughout the final, although he did need both his breaks of serve in the first set after failing to serve out the set at 5-2.  He broke in the first game of the second set and made that break stand up throughout, facing just one break point in that set in the second game. The level from both players was high throughout most of the match, but it was Giron who looked more confident on the key points. After five wins prior to the final this week, all but the first coming in straight sets, Giron didn't seemed fazed by the opportunity to claim his first Challenger title. The last game was particularly impressive, with a love hold courtesy of several clean winners putting an exclamation point on a great week.

The 2014 NCAA singles champion now moves into the ATP Top 250, close to his career high of 238, and is in the draw (unseeded again) at the ATP 80 Columbus Challenger this coming week.

Holt, a wild card, won the ITF's WTT M25 in Los Angeles, beating former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador, the No. 2 seed, 6-3, 6-3 on the USC courts. The 20-year-old son of Tracy Austin and Scott Holt won his first Futures title at the $15,000 tournament in Claremont last September. The USC junior from Rolling Hills Estates California came from a set down in both his second round win over Luis Patino of Mexico and in yesterday's semifinal win over Kalamazoo champion Jenson Brooksby.

At the ATP 90 Challenger in Noumea, defending champion Noah Rubin[3] lost in the final to Sweden's Mikael Ymer 6-3, 6-3. Donald Young, who made the semifinals before falling to Rubin, won the doubles title with Germany's Dustin Brown. Brown and Young, the No. 3 seeds, defeated Sem Verbeek(Pacific) of the Netherlands and Andre Goransson(Cal) of Sweden 6-4, 7-5 in the final.

Two US women picked up WTA doubles titles this weekend Down Under, with Sonya Kenin getting her first with Genie Bouchard of Canada.  Kenin and Bouchard defeated Paige Hourigan(Georgia Tech) of New Zealand and Taylor Townsend 1-6, 6-1, 10-7 in the Auckland final.  In the Brisbane final, No. 3 seeds Nicole Melichar and her partner Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic defeated No. 4 seeds Latisha Chan and Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan 6-1, 6-1 for the title.


Wild cards said...

With the reduction in number of spots available for the "ITF World Tennis Tour" tournaments, wild cards have become very important. Unfortunately, USTA continues to give these to their favorites (USTA PD or hyped players), instead of spreading them between upcoming juniors and college players.

Here are some examples.

Zachary Svajda, awarded qualifying wild card for M25 Los Angeles. Lost 2,3 in first round. Gets rewarded with main draw wild card for the next tournament M25 Tucson!

Govind Nanda, awarded main draw wild card for M25 LA, reached the quarter finals. Gets rewarded with another main draw wild card. Why not let him earn his way to the main draw? If he is so good, he should be able to do it the hard way. Look at what happened with Jack Sock and Donald Young with all the wild cards.

Tristan Boyer is a special case. This player has a history of getting wild cards for several years. Juniors, futures, you name it. He hardly has to earn his way through. He received main wild card for LA, lost first round 2 and 6. Now entered for Australian open ITF. When he comes back, he will probably be awarded more wild cards. I'd like to know the secret of how he manages to get wild cards to tournaments abroad as well!

tennisforlife said...

The above comment is inappropriate. The players named are all under 18, Svajda is 16. They are not professional players and not even in college. Naming individual juniors in this context is simply spiteful. This comment should never have been posted. Zootennis is better than this!

Tale as old as time said...

It's not inappropriate at all, the awarding of WC's is the most blatant abuse within the USTA and it starts when players are juniors. McDonald wouldn't be where he is today without all the WCs received over the years. You think these favorites simply win their way up? Dig through records. How do you think Harrison is still out there? So many of the those identified as next gen were given kick starts with ample WCs. They would not have played/won into the next level without them. Certain players with relationships (think good ol' boy network) are given opportunities to win that others never do. When a decent player is given 20+ WCs in a year, they have been given the gift of a pro career and chances to break through over and over again that very few others get. It has never been fair and it needs to be called out, not concealed. It's just factor contributing to the demise of participation and interest in US tennis.

John King said...

I also agree that it is not inappropriate at all. The USTA is in free fall and people need to call it out. Participation is falling, pickleball is taking over many courts. Player development is a terrible money pit, just as bad under Blackman as it was under Pat Mac. Player development chooses the special players and they never pan out. Every player they touch ends up having terrible results or just plain bad luck. The second Ci Ci Bellis left her private coach in Cali and moved to Orlando we knew her career was doomed. Injuries, etc., USTA is the kiss of death for player development. The nepotism in hiring has always been terrible.