Players: Why less is more for Marcos Girona ATP Tour

After the defeat in the last round of qualification on International BNL of Italy, Marcos Giron won a place in the main draw as the lucky loser. The American took full advantage of the Foro Italico, where he lost Alexander Bublik and 12. seed Diego Schwartzman to the third round.

Before the former university tennis star faced the eighth holder Felix Auger-Aliassimelearn more about Girona’s life off the field in this issue Players.

How many video games do you play these days?
To be honest, I’ve played a lot less in the last year than during the pandemic, and even before the pandemic. I play maybe once a week, and maybe less than that, once a month.

I mean in part, amazing and I think video games growing up were an antisocial thing. But I actually think it’s very social. It’s good to be away from home playing online with friends and doing something together. It was great for me, especially when we were in bubbles and couldn’t leave the hotel room. It was a fun way to stay engaged.

But since things have opened up and we’re traveling to cool cities, somehow it seems to me that I appreciate being able to go out, visit cities, have fun, and visit other people.

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During the pandemic, we saw some players start traveling with their PlayStation. How much did you do?
I’ve traveled a long way with the PlayStation. I was doing it when Fortnite came out, so it probably was [around] 2017. From 2017 to 2020, I traveled a lot with the PlayStation. I played Fortnite. Call of Duty was a lot of fun. I played God of War, which was pretty epic.

Some guys travel with a PS4 and a monitor in a suitcase, but I’ve never traveled with a monitor. I just connected to any TV … I just got along with what it was and honestly, it’s a lot of fun and I still enjoy it. I just didn’t travel with my PlayStation. But when I get home or someone else has it, I’ll play.

Is there anything to “avoid” by playing video games because you spend so many hours on the spot? Obviously playing tennis is the way you make a living, so you have to, but is there anything to do something different?
Absolutely yes. As a professional tennis player, it’s like we have to do everything we can to maximize our abilities, at least for me. They are all so good and the margins are so small. But part of it is the ability to separate and focus on other things, because if you think about tennis all day, every day – which I think about a lot of the time – it’s important to have an outlet.

I think most players have some form of output. I think it’s good and healthy to have that. [Video games] were a great way out. But for me I actually feel that my eyes are so important that I’m partly a little less playful, because I feel that if I’m closed on the screen for so long, my eyes start to get a little blurry and that’s not necessarily the best thing! But I honestly think it’s so amazing.

How much do you follow professional e-sports?
I watched some streaming, especially when Fortnite came out, to see how these professional players play. I didn’t get that in e-sports when it came to watching. I’ve seen a few streams on YouTube, but I wouldn’t know who the best players are when it comes to e-sports.

Growing up, video games were more just for fun. How interesting are you to see people pursuing a profession?
It is! It’s like playing tennis. It’s something I’ve been doing for so long and for those guys, they’ve been doing it for so long. I think there’s one aspect that’s pretty cool, that they’re so good at what they do. I think what they are doing is incredibly difficult. The time, the mental processing, the time they have to make decisions, is pretty impressive.

As for me, I play the game for life. I play tennis. It may be more physical, but if I had gone against them, I would have had absolutely no goal.

If you had to pick your three favorite games, what would they be?
The legend of Zelda. This is actually very difficult … It should be Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, one of the two. I would also have to say probably Fortnite. I will go to Zelda, Mario Kart and Fortnite, although I think there are many more good ones.

I remember getting an N64. My first games were Zelda and Super Smash Bros. That probably explains it! I also remember the first time I got an Xbox, it was good fun.

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