World No. 15, Tommy Paul, lived up to his billing as the favorite as he clinched the ATP 250 Dallas Open title in a fiercely contested final against Marcos Giron, ranked No. 67. American tennis fans were treated to an intense match between two locals, with Paul ultimately emerging victorious with a 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3 scoreline.
Paul showcased his dominance earlier in the semifinals by defeating No. 16 Ben Shelton with a commanding 6-2, 6-4 victory, securing a spot in his fourth career final and a historic first on home soil.
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On the other side, Giron displayed impeccable performance throughout the tournament, defeating three seeded players on his path, including top-seeded Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals and fourth-seeded Adrian Mannarino in the semifinals, to reach his second career final.
The first set saw Paul taking an early lead, securing a break to go 3-1 up without conceding points on his serve. However, Giron remained composed despite the disadvantage, breaking back and winning three consecutive games to lead 4-3. Both players held serve until they reached a tie-break, where Paul's consistency in serving and securing two mini-breaks allowed him to claim the set 7-6(3).
Paul's aggressive play in the first set, engaging in short points and approaching the net effectively, reflected in the stats with 16 winners and just one unforced error, a stark contrast to Giron's three winners and four unforced errors.
Giron maintained his determination in the second set, showcasing improved service compared to Paul. The match remained on serve until the pivotal 4-4 game, which turned out to be the most contested of the encounter. Facing Paul's serve, Giron decoded his opponent's delivery and won multiple exchanges in a game that witnessed six deuces. Ultimately, Paul managed to save the break points, but doubts persisted in his service game, and Giron capitalized, securing the break and subsequently leveling the match at 7-5.
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In the decisive third set, Paul stepped up his game, capitalizing on two unforced errors from Giron in the second game to secure a crucial break and take a 3-0 lead. Despite Giron's resilience and attempts to stage a comeback, Paul remained flawless on his serve, denying any opportunities for his opponent. Paul maintained his advantage and sealed the victory with a 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3 scoreline.
This victory marked Paul's second career title after finishing as the runner-up in the 2023 Mexican Open and Eastbourne International. Looking ahead, Paul is set to compete in the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open this week, where he enjoys a first-round bye as the third seed. He awaits the winner between 19-year-old Alex Michelsen and a qualifier in the second round.
Giron will also be in action at the Delray Beach Open, making his debut on February 13th against compatriot Emilio Nava, who received a wild card entry into the tournament.