WATCH: Giron didn't drop a set en route to the final of his home tournament in San Diego.


It turns out the death of American men’s tennis was greatly exaggerated: the 2022 year-end ATP rankings is set to feature a whopping 12 men in the Top 70, led by No. 9 Taylor Fritz and No. 19 Frances Tiafoe with Maxime Cressy, Tommy Paul, and Sebastian Korda all within range of a Grand Slam seed.

Hoping to join that upper echelon in 2023 is Marcos Giron, who made his Top 50 debut earlier this fall after finishing runner-up at his home tournament in San Diego. The former NCAA champion long struggled with injuries only to emerge in this post-pandemic era thanks to an impressive string of results.

We caught up with Giron shortly after his San Diego stunner, and went deep on what matters: music, memories, and the Musée d’Orsay. Talk to me about your pre-match playlist. What were you listening to in San Diego?
Marcos Giron:
It kind of depends. Every few months, I come up with a different sort of playlist. It’s a big mix of stuff. In San Diego, I was listening to “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed, which kind of puts you in a mood, and then another song called “Minefield” by Nic D. I listened to a little Cage the Elephant, some alternative. What were some of your core tennis memories from growing up?
There’s so many epic matches. I think of the battle that Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi had at the 2002 US Open, or the matches between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, all the battles they had. There’s obviously the classic Rafa and Roger at the 2008 Wimbledon final, or Roger and Novak.

I remember the 2012 Australian Open double-header where Novak Djokovic played Andy Murray in the semis and then beat Rafael Nadal in the final. I also remember the 2009 US Open final between Federer and Juan Martin del Potro. There’s so many memories I have of watching matches and then feeling so inspired to play, compete, and try and get to that level. Now that you’re getting used to life on tour, how do you like spending a free day in a new city?
I usually try and take in the big sights. When I go to Paris, for example, I’ll make it to a few museums, like Musée d’Orsay, or when I was in San Diego, I went out to La Jolla to watch the sunset and stopped by the beach. When I’m in London, there’s the London Eye.

I try to take at least one day out to see when each city is all about. I think earlier in my career, I didn’t do that as much. It’s nice to be able to disconnect and be able to enjoy life on the road a little more. Who are your go-to follows on social media?
It’s a mix of comedy, SportsCenter, maybe some other tennis players. I just saw Tommy Paul post the Laver Cup trophy photo with a caption about not doing anything on a group project but still getting an “A” and that cracked me up. And finally, favorite emoji?
My most common one is the laughing-crying emoji. Straight up, or on the side; it doesn’t matter!