It was a great week of winning pro tennis for a former Southern California college star from UCLA, and a current standout from USC.
Thousand Oaks resident and former Bruin Marcos Giron won his first career ATP Challenger Tour title at the inaugural Orlando Open, defeating top-seeded Darian King of Barbados in Sunday’s final, 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Trojan senior Brandon Holt won his second ITF $25,000 World Tour title, beating former Trojan Emilio Gomez in the final, 6-3, 6-3, on his home courts at USC, where USC Head Coach Peter Smith has hosted a $25,000 event for the past four years.
The unseeded Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion, defeated four consecutive seeded players en route to his first-career ATP Challenger Tour final where he faced King, the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
“I couldn’t be happier, to be honest,” Giron said. “I spent part of my offseason here and it was an awesome training week. For me to win it here at the home of American tennis is just amazing. I played a fantastic match today and the whole week I played well too. It’s just an amazing feeling to come out on top.”
The Orlando Open, which is a USTA Pro Circuit ATP Challenger event, was the first USTA Pro Circuit ATP Challenger event of the 2019 season and is the highest level of tennis on display to date at the USTA National Campus, with a prize-money pool of more than $54,000.
Holt looked like he might be upset by the nation’s top college recruit and high school senior Jenson Brooksby in the semifinals as Holt lost the first set, 6-7 (3). Holt then came back to win the next two sets, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the final. In the quarterfinals Holt met another familiar foe in former USC star Daniel Nguyen and prevailed 6-4, 6-2.