Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Marcos Giron may have lost in Indian Wells, but his face and ass won big with me

INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—Two groups of players have been making headlines this week at the BNP Paribas Open: the Canadians and the Bruins. They clashed when Milos Raonic took on Marcos Giron in the third round on Monday, with Giron letting a 4-1 lead in the third set slip away to lose, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. 
"Even though he's the big favorite, it still hurts to lose," Giron said. "Being up a break in the third, it kind of really gives me confidence and belief in my game."
The world No. 12-ranked Raonic leads a crew of Canadian teens including Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, while Giron is chasing fellow former UCLA standouts Jennifer Brady and Mackenzie McDonald to the Top 100. At 25, it's taken Giron a little longer to feel that he belongs at this level. 

"The Bruin family is always a great one," Giron said. "When I went to school there was so many terrific players on our team. My last year we had an amazing team. It was Clay Thompson, myself—McDonald was playing No. 3, and he's Top 100 in the world."
The UCLA campus is a breeding ground for success with a whopping 117 NCAA titles in school history. The men's tennis program has won 16 national team titles, while the women have captured three. Men's head coach Billy Martin had an impressive pro career, peaking at No. 32, while the women are coached by Pete Sampras' sister Stella. It's normal for student-athletes under Martin and Sampras' tutelage to play pro events during the school year or even take a semester off to compete even more. 
It also helps that the competition at UCLA is unparalleled, regularly seeing multiple high-ranked juniors climb the college ranks quickly before setting out for the pro tour. Bruins on tour include world No. 62-ranked McDonald, No. 83-ranked Brady, world No. 217-ranked Giron, No. 230-ranked Robin Anderson, No. 557-ranked Ena Shibahara, No. 389-ranked Martin Redlicki and current senior No. 310-ranked Maxime Cressy. 
"At the school I think it's just very competitive," Giron said. "All the players there were very good and very competitive and kept pushing each other. And plus with the coaching staff being really understanding, Billy was a Top 40 in the world player himself. So I think he really understands how to brew success."
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