THE DAY AT BNP:
The end of the beginning for Marcos Giron
USTA Southern California | March 11, 2019
There was a brief yet telling moment in today’s much anticipated match-up between #13 seed Milos Raonic and the SoCal wild card from Thousand Oaks, Marcos Giron.
With Giron about to toss his serve during the deciding third set of what was a thrilling tennis match, his routine was interrupted by the sudden crashing of plates and tableware somewhere above center court. Giron looked up toward the luxury boxes, regained his composure, and continued on.
The rest of the journey would be as rough as that shattered porcelain.
Raonic snatched victory from Giron shortly afterwards, at the culmination of what was shaping up to be the next chapter in a fairytale story for the former UCLA Bruin. Giron won the first set on Monday morning in the day’s opening match on Stadium 1, extending rallies long enough for Raonic to lose focus and dump point after point into the net.
But while big Canadian’s service game was ample firepower to keep him in every set, Giron managed a dramatic break of serve late in the first set which led to a 6-4 advantage.
Raonic returned the favor in the second, managing a break of his own against Giron’s equally effective service game. That left a third and deciding set to produce a winner, and Giron’s early break put him at a 3-0 advantage. By now, the sparse crowd had begun to fill in, as fans roared in approval each time Giron unleashed a winner.
But Raonic wouldn’t give in. He didn’t play particularly well, but he’d been in pressure situations before, and knew his opponent was still, as Giron said recently, “playing with house money.” Never losing composure or showing emotion, Raonic simply continued to play, and when he managed to erase the break deficit and then tally one of his own, the Canadian found a way to finish the match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.