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ATP Wednesday Recap: Giron Advances Over Kovacevic, Isner Ousted by Nakashima
3 Min Read · March 8, 2023

John Isner was one of the first big names in first-round action to make an early exit at this year’s BNP Paribas Open, going down to compatriot Brandon Nakashima 7-6(7), 6-3 in his Stadium 1 opener.

A finalist at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden back in 2012 – and a two-time doubles champ in the years since – the 6’10 serving specialist has enjoyed the thin air of the Palm Desert in seasons past but was unable to rally his way against last year’s Next Gen ATP champ.

For his part, Nakashima did exactly what Nakashima does best, striking the ball with confidence from the baseline and working the angles with his favored backhand wing. Considering Isner is just coming off of a runner-up finish in Dallas a few weeks back, it’s a big win for the California native, who will be looking to make further strides up the rankings this season having broken into the Top 50 late last year.

Earlier in the day, UCLA’s Marcos Giron emerged victorious over rising talent and tournament Wild Card Aleksandar Kovacevic (Illinois) in a battle between two former NCAA standouts.

Giron was strong from the start, leveraging his impeccable defending skills to sow seeds of doubt in Kovacevic’s net-driving tactics. The 29 year old, who just last year reached a career-high of No. 49 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, offered no respite for his opponent, himself playing in just his third tour-level main draw.

After nearly an hour and a half of play – and without dropping serve – it was Giron advancing in straight sets to face another compatriot: No. 14 seed Frances Tiafoe.


Elsewhere around the grounds, talented (but oft-injured) Frenchman Ugo Humbert advanced 6-2, 7-6(2) over Bernabe Zapata Miralles on Stadium 3 to set up a blockbuster clash with Denis Shapovalov in the second round, while Ilya Ivashka overcame Roman Safiullin with little trouble, 6-4, 6-2, to advance.

Stay tuned for more updates on Day 1 of main draw action in #TennisParadise.

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