Dennis Novikov and Marcos Giron meet for USTA title Sunday
CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2013) – Former junior rivals and UCLA teammates Dennis Novikov and Marcos Giron will meet for the 18th USTA Claremont Club Classic title on Sunday after both won hard-fought three-set matches over former Bruins on Saturday at the Claremont Club.
The No. 3-seeded Novikov, 19, had to come back from down a set and a break to beat No. 2-seeded Nick Meister, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, while the unseeded 20-year-old Giron survived a match point against him in his 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) over Haythem Abid of Tunisia in the $10,000 Men’s Pro Future event.
As teammates, Novikov and Giron led the Bruins all the way to the NCAA Championship match in May where they eventually fell to Virginia.
Novikov, who turned pro just three weeks ago at the US Open, will be attempting to win his second pro singles title as he captured the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures title in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., in June.
Novikov is obviously familiar with Giron’s game as the two have practiced together since Novikov joined the Bruins at the end of April, 2012. A month before that, Novikov beat Giron in the final-round of qualifying at a $15,000 Futures event in Calabasas, avenging three earlier defeats against Giron at big national junior events, including a loss in the quarterfinals at the USTA National 18s Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2011.
“We’ve played a lot of matches together, and I feel like I know his game pretty well,” Novikov said. “For me this is a full-time job now. I know what I need to do against Marcos and I’ve been playing pretty strong.”
Giron has, as well, winning all his matches in Claremont in straight sets before Saturday, giving up just four, seven and three games in his first three matches.
Giron went up 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker but Abid battled back with two quick points. The players traded points as the score was knotted at 3-all, 4-all, 5-all and 6-all with Giron earning his first match point at 6-5 before closing out the match 8-6.
Sunday's final will take place at 10 a.m.
Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Results
Dennis Novikov (3), U.S., def. Nicolas Meister (2), U.S., 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Marcos Giron, U.S., def. Haythem Abid, Tunisia, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6)