Marcos Giron is a winner in upset over Jeremy Chardy at Paribas Open
With a berth in the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open on the line in his second qualifying match, Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks fought back to win after being down a set and a break. That allowed Giron, ranked 217th in the world, to feel little pressure when he faced 57th-ranked Jeremy Chardy of France on Thursday. “Coming out I felt like you know, I’m playing with house money,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy it and just enjoy the ride.”
That ride continues. Giron, who won the 2014 NCAA championship while at UCLA, upset Chardy 7-6 (3), 7-6 (1) for the biggest win of his career. “This year has been a terrific year,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of matches and I think it’s helped me. I’ve had a lot of momentum.” He also credited his success to teaming with JC Aragone of Yorba Linda to win the doubles title at a Challenger Series event last week at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “I was able to get good prep,” Giron said. “Even though it was doubles it gave me a lot of practice on the court.”
Giron, 24, initially found life on tour to be a challenge.
The most he has earned in a year is $56,000 in 2014, which included a big check for getting a wild-card entry into the U.S. Open main draw.
From those winnings he pays for travel, hotels, coaching and other expenses. “The goal is to keep the big picture in mind,” he said. “To come play these tournaments and make it to the main draw of Grand Slams and hopefully the grass is greener on the other side.”
His second-round opponent, on Saturday, is No. 23-seeded Alex de Minaur of Australia. “He’s had a terrific year. I’m just excited to go out and battle against him,” Giron said. “I’ll have to hit a lot of balls. He’s as fast as can be.”
Venus Williams needed medical attention during the second set of her match against Andrea Petkovic but bounced back for a 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 victory. What happened? “I don’t know, honestly,” said Williams, at 38 the oldest woman in the draw. She next plays No. 3-seeded Petra Kvitova, who holds a 4-2 edge in their previous matches.
In other noteworthy women’s first-round matches, Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium defeated American Alison Risk 7-6 (10), 6-4 and wild card Madison Brengle of the U.S. defeated Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-3.
Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, 18, had six aces and no double faults in getting past Cameron Norrie of Britain 6-3, 6-2 in a first-round match. Auger-Aliassime, a career-best 58 in the world, will next face No. 9-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Tsitsipas, 20, is the youngest man in the top 10. Also, American Sam Querrey outlasted Matteo Berrettini of Italy 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4.
No. 19-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta withdrew because of a shoulder injury and was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Andrey Rublev.… A shoulder injury also led to the withdrawal of No. 26-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. He was replaced by lucky loser Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania.
ATP seeks new leader
The Assn. of Tennis Professionals board voted to not renew the contract of president Chris Kermode, whose term expires at the end of the year.
He has been credited with increasing prize money and creating events such as the Next Gen Finals, which showcases young players.
“It was decided in our governing structure that it was time to look into new leadership on the tour,” said Novak Djokovic, president of the ATP Player Council. Djokovic wouldn’t disclose his vote; Rafael Nadal was among those who opposed the change.
A search for a replacement will begin soon.
Tomorrow’s featured matches
Stefanie Voegele vs. Sloane Stephens, 11 a.m.
Taylor Fritz vs. Steve Johnson
Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams, not before 6 p.m.
Nicolas Jarry vs. Frances Tiafoe
Daniel Evans vs. Stan Wawrinka
Barbora Strycova vs. Simona Halep
Elina Sviolina vs. Sofia Kenin
Elise Mertens vs. Amanda Anisimova
Follow Helene Elliott on Twitter @helenenothelen
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