Giron To Face Karlovic In Houston Challenger Final

Marcos Giron (photo: Oracle Challenger Series)

HOUSTON, November 17, 2019

Marcos Giron and Ivo Karlovic will compete in the singles final of the Oracle Challenger Series Houston. On a beautiful Saturday at the George R. Brown Tennis Center, No. 4 seed Giron emerged victorious from a hard-fought two-setter with fellow US-American and No. 8 seed Mitchell Krueger, winning 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 38 minutes.

“I’m pumped to get through that match, straight sets or not,” Giron said. “The last couple of times we played, Mitch got the best of me. The first set really could have gone either way with it being a tiebreaker, and the second set I was down love-40 in my first service game and was able to dig out of that. So it might have been straights, but there were a lot of pivotal points that I was able to win and hopefully I can keep on going.”

In the other semi-final, No. 3 seed Karlovic gutted out a come-from-behind victory to knock off No. 6 seed Christopher O’Connell of Australia 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, a match in which the Croat delivered 19 aces and did not face a break point. Karlovic finished the encounter after one hour and 34 minutes.

“Today was difficult because yesterday was such a long day,” Karlovic said following the match. “I was a little bit tired and sore in the knees and shoulder, but I just kept fighting and hoping for the best. In the end it paid off.”

Karlovic is seeking his eighth ATP Challenger career title, his first trophy since Calgary last year. The former World No. 14 won both previous meetings with Giron, who could earn his second ATP Challenger title following his maiden triumph in Orlando earlier this year.

Later in the day, Jonathan Erlich from Israel and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico took the doubles crown. The top seeds defeated Ariel Behar from Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador 6-3, 7-6(4) in one hour and 25 minutes.

Women’s Singles – Semifinals
[3] Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d Irina Falconi (USA) 63 75
[WC] CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) d [7] Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 36 64 75

Women’s Doubles – Final
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS) / Luisa Stefani (BRA) d [1] Sharon Fichman (CAN) / Ena Shibahara (JPN) 16 64 10-5

Women’s Doubles – Semifinals
[1] Sharon Fichman (CAN) / Ena Shibahara (JPN) d Hayley Carter (USA) / Jamie Loeb (USA) 63 64
[2] Ellen Perez (AUS) / Luisa Stefani (BRA) d Beatrice Gumulya (INA) / Jessy Rompies (INA) 61 64

Men’s Singles – Semifinals
[3] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d [6] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 67(5) 63 64
[4] Marcos Giron (USA) d [8] Mitchell Krueger (USA) 76(4) 62

Men’s Doubles – Final
[1] Jonathan Erlich (ISR) / Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) d [3] Ariel Behar (URU) / Gonzalo Escobar (ECU) 63 76(4)

Men’s Doubles – Semifinals
[1] Jonathan Erlich (ISR) / Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) d [PR] Treat Huey (PHI) / Sem Verbeek (NED) 26 75 10-3
[3] Ariel Behar (URU) / Gonzalo Escobar (ECU) d [2] Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Nathanial Lammons (USA) 36 63 10-8