While most of his compatriots are in Southern California either gearing up for Indian Wells or playing in San Diego, Marcos Giron has been making a statement in Europe. After battling a hip injury that nearly derailed his career, the 2014 NCAA champion has been making his mark indoors in Europe.

In Metz, Giron reached the quarterfinal round, beating Arthur Rinderknech and Alex de Minaur. In Sofia this week, he’s reached his first ATP semifinal with solid wins over Jaume Munar, de Minaur again, and John Millman. The American is overwhelming his opponents with his powerful and accurate forehand, as well as his exceptional side-to-side movement and consistency.

Giron will take on the resurgent Gaël Monfils as he attempts to make his first ever ATP Final. According to the oddsmakers, the Frenchman is a solid -220 favorite and projected to win by three total games. Much of the outcome will be determined by how well Monfils serves, as that is by far his biggest advantage over the 28-year-old, in addition to his unparalleled movement around the court.


Giron is in the midst of a career best run in Sofia.

Giron is in the midst of a career best run in Sofia. 

But Giron is an extremely smart player. He understands what he needs to do to win, and almost always plays within himself. Giron is well aware that the best strategy against this freakish athlete is to simply make balls and bore him to death. If anyone can keep the ball in the court, it’s Marcos.

If Monfils is able to consistently hit winners from the baseline there’s not much Giron will be able to do, but knowing he’ll enter this match with the proper game plan makes his +3 game spread worth a small wager.

The Pick: Marcos Giron +3