Tennis Prose




Feb/24

11

Paul Surives Giron, Wins Dallas Open

By Scoop Malinowski

Tommy Paul was severely tested by compatriot Marcos Giron today in the Dallas Open final but found his groove in the third set to prevail 76 57 63. It’s the second ATP singles title for Paul, his first came in Stockholm in late 2021.

After the win, the relieved 26 year old Dallas Open champion said, “That was a pretty unbelievable match. Best final I’ve ever played.”

The 30 year old Giron was stunningly good in the second set, summoning a superior level from the baseline that threatened Paul in three service games before finally Paul wilted and was broken for 56 in the second. It was Giron’s bulldog tenacity and sensational hitting from both wings that eventually cracked Paul, who was unable to threaten Giron’s service game for the second set.

But after a short break, Paul changed his white New Balance shorts to blue, to match his blue shirt and shoes. Giron changed his socks and K Swiss shoes.

Both players showed a slight difference in demeanor to begin the third set. Paul served to start the decider and it was clear he now had the eye of the tiger and a noticeably different intensity and urgency in his body language and facial expressions.

The first two points Paul suddenly changed the match rhythm and attacked the net, and provoked an error and then converted a volley winner. Paul’s intelligence and risk taking paid off – he won the game at love.

Giron exuded a certain ho-hum nonchalance in his first service game of the third, as if he had a letdown after his fierce fight to win the second set. Perhaps he was decompressing for a few games and processing the excitement for how well he played to extend his second ATP final (a loss to Brandon Nakashima in CA).

Giron, ranked 67 (best ranking was 49 in May 2022) had to beat two top 20 players this week to reach his second ATP final – Frances Tiafoe and Adrian Mannarino, which he did both in straight sets.

Paul capitalized on the dip in Giron’s energy and and broke Giron for 2-0 and then held for 3-0. Giron didn’t have enough fight left in his tank and couldn’t muster another furious rally. He missed a return on championship point.

Giron, who entered Dallas 0-2 on the season (loss to Jack Draper in five sets at AO, and to Daniel Altmaier in Auckland), has to be happy with how well he played today vs. Paul and all week in Dallas. “It sucks losing but there’s nobody else I’d rather go down to than you,” Giron said at the trophy ceremony. “I gave it my all so no regrets. I’ll come back next year.”

Tommy Paul will be ranked no. 14 tomorrow, the second highest ranked American behind no. 9 Taylor Fritz. Both Fritz and Paul are playing Delray Beach Open next week.

Both Paul and Giron used Yonex racquets this week in Dallas.

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6 comments

  • Cory · February 12, 2024 at 3:05 pm

    Giron is very pesky, so mentally solid and gets the absolute most out of his game. Tactically solid. Smart. Paul just way too much power & whip. Can win on skill alone. I just wouldn’t trust Paul in a big spot to butter my bagel.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Cory, Yes Giron is a dangerous player. But I think he had a slight letdown mentally after winning that second set. Did you notice that? He started the third set in cruise control, relaxed. But he needed to be even more intense after the second set. Like Paul was. Not easy to generate that kind of energy and fight. If he can fix that flaw, he can go even higher than his best ranking. Paul is a wildcard, so naturally gifted and a physical beast. A couple of minor refinements and he’s top 10 or 5.

  • Cory · February 12, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    Scoop, I missed the final but got to hear about it in your post. Saw just about all of the rest of the tourney. How about Tiafoe going down 6-1, 6-4. Loved the opening round Krueger / Purcell match. Boy, Purcell is a magician; what a talented player. Glad to see him finally inside of the top 50. Was very disappointed in Duckworth… i figured he would be able to boss Mannarino down on indoor hard.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2024 at 4:04 pm

    Purcell is a highlight reel player, he can make some crazy shots. Going to Biofile Mel Purcell this week, he’s from the 70s 80s. Tiafoe has stagnated and changing coaches from Ferreira to Moyano hasn’t worked. Curious to see where Purcell goes, he’s a Wimbledon champion and entering his peak years now. Watch out.

  • Cory · February 12, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    Scoop. Cilic is done. Done done. Losing everywhere. Why the heck did he opt to head to Buenos Aires instead of Delray Beach? In his best days, Cilic was a clay courter but it’s not his strength. Speaking of farewell tours, Wawrinka v. Cachin today. Delbonis retired – he will play doubles this week at Buenos Aires, I heard, as his farewell.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 12, 2024 at 8:13 pm

    Marin Cilic was another great Croatian player who unfortunately did not sell any tickets. Croatia is a very small tennis market. Hope Dino Prizmic changes that. Wawrinka and Murray should do an endless farewell tour together. This way they can never retire )

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