World No. 104 Marcos Giron was in an ideal position heading into the fourth and final event of the 2019-2020 Oracle Challenger Series in Indian Wells. After a duo of stellar performances at earlier events in New Haven and Houston, as well as competing in Newport Beach, the 26-year-old American found himself atop the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard.
With a 75-point lead at the commencement of Indian Wells, all Giron needed was for 2020 Newport Beach champion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski to fall in advance of the finals to clinch a main draw wild card berth into the 2020 BNP Paribas Open. Kwiatkowski did just that on Tuesday afternoon, as he was unable to overcome Italy’s Salvatore Caruso.
For Giron, it’s only fitting that he secures one of the biggest opportunities of his professional career at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He’s had many of his greatest career moments in the desert, including winning the 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells doubles title alongside partner JC Aragone. After earning his way into the main draw of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open with two victories in the qualifying rounds, he put together the most impressive run of his career with upset victories in the main draw over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and No. 23 ranked Alex De Minaur. For the local Southern California native, it’s no coincidence that he’s had so much success in the desert.
“Growing up as a Southern California player, the BNP Paribas Open was the biggest tournament that we had. I grew up watching my idols play here and now to be able to compete here myself is incredibly exciting.”
Giron will have another chance to impress the crowds in the desert at the 2020 Premier Mandatory, thanks to a run of impressive showings throughout this year’s Challenger Series.
“I’m just so excited, going into New Haven I didn’t really expect to earn the wild card but I’m so happy to come back because I’ve had some of my best memories here. To be included in the main draw this time is nothing short of a dream come true for me.”
At the tournament’s inaugural event in New Haven in September, Giron had everything working in the Elm City on his way to three straight victories over higher-seeded opponents. Although he ultimately fell in the final to fellow American Tommy Paul, his standout play foreshadowed his Houston appearance to come.
Few could have predicted Giron’s run in the Lone Star State, as he found himself in another Sunday final – this time against ATP Tour veteran Ivo Karlovic. In one of the most epic and unprecedented finals in Oracle Challenger Series (and, possibly ATP) history, Giron saved six match points in a final set tiebreaker to down the heralded Croatian.
Upon clinching the main draw wild card, Giron was all smiles when asked about the journey competing in this year’s Oracle Challenger Series events.
“It’s awesome that Oracle is investing so much in American tennis, and to feel the support is what a lot of us out here need. I can’t thank Oracle enough for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Giron knows it’ll take another career-best performance to advance against the loaded field of the 2020 BNP Paribas Open, but who’s to say the desert won’t be kind to the American once more.