THE DAY AT BNP: Giron advances to Main Draw; SoCal dubs tandem opens strong


Good news for #TeamSoCal on Wednesday, with strong performances on the men’s side and in women’s doubles. Marcos Giron brought the Indian Wells crowd to its feet midday in a raucous three set thriller that saw the former NCAA champion and UCLA Bruin alum make his way to the Main Draw of the BNP Paribas Open. On a nearby court, Asia Muhammad & Kaitlyn Christian pulled an early upset of the #7 seed to advance in the first round of Women’s doubles.

Giron, coming off a three set win in the opening round, will await his spot in the brackets which begin on Thursday. Opposite Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic. Giron (Thousand Oaks) took the #24 seed the distance in each of three sets in a 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 triumph. He converted six of nine break chances, while his opponent rarely took advantage in converting only five of thirteen. The crowd soared as Giron opened the third set tiebreaker with an ace, and continued on with timely winners and impeccable focus to lock the win. VIEW OUR POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH MARCOS GIRON.


Asia Muhammad (l) and Kaitlyn Christian topple the #7 seeds on Wednesday. (USTA/Segura)


Muhammad & Christian came out strong in their opening set against #7 Andreja Klepac & Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain. With an early break, the SoCal tandem gained an early advantage and, despite losing serve at their first opportunity to hold the set, the team rallied to ultimately secure a 6-4, 6-3 opening round win. Muhammad (Long Beach) and Christian (Orange) won ten of 12 second serve receives in the win.

On the flip side, Yorba Linda’s JC Aragone seemed to struggle with the twilight during his late afternoon loss to Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, 7-6(6), 6-3. Aragone nearly stole the first set as the two battled evenly throughout, but the loss left Aragone in a tailspin as Ito moved on the Men’s main draw.

Sabrina Santamaria, the former USC star, saw her doubles campaign cut short on Wednesday, teaming with hometown favorite Desirae Krawczyk (Palm Desert) in a loss to sisters Lyudmyla & Nadiia Kichenok, 6-4, 6-1. The difference in the match was felt in break points, as the siblings converted five of 13, to only one of six from #TeamSoCal.

In action on Thursday, Venus Williams debuts at the 2019 BNP in her opening round match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany. The two have played tight matches, winning two apiece in four three-set meetings. They last played at Stanford in 2014 with Petkovic victorious. Sam Querrey (Santa Monica) steps on court in Round One in a match-up with 22 year old Matteo Berrettini of Italy. The two have never met, and both currently rank in the 50s on the ATP Tour. Bradley Klahn (Poway), a three-time All American at Stanford, meets Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri during Thursday’s evening session.

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