No. 2-seeded junior Daniel Cukierman cruised during the Oracle ITA Masters and defeated top-seed UCLA sophomore Keegan Smith within the name fit on the Malibu Racquet Membership Sunday.
Cukierman, the one consultant from USC at Malibu over the weekend, began his match off speedy with a 6-0, 6-Zero victory over Bryant College senior Guido Argentini. The Spherical of 16 noticed Cukierman defeat Western Michigan senior Jannik Opitz 6-1, 6-3, ahead of he seized two extra straight-set wins within the quarterfinal and semifinal fits to achieve Sunday’s ultimate.
Smith took the primary set in Sunday’s name fit and led by means of a ruin in the second one. Alternatively, Cukierman stormed again from a 1-2 deficit to take a 5-2 lead, forcing a 3rd set after a 6-Three win. The Trojan and Bruin had been tied up at 3-Three within the 3rd, however Cukierman made a late-game push with a grab ruin to transport in entrance 4-3. Cukierman carried his momentum to the end line, remaining out the fit within the 10th recreation to protected a 2-6, 6-3, 6-Four comeback win.
Following Sunday’s victory, head trainer Brett Masi praised Cukierman’s resilience right through the match.
“Main as much as the overall, Daniel was once the person who took the initiative within the fits,” Masi mentioned.
“As of late he needed to adapt his recreation as a result of clearly his opponent was once so much larger than him … What I really like maximum was once that he didn’t get down on himself after the setback — he stayed sure and gave himself a possibility at the second one set and ultimately gained the fit.”
Even if Masi was once inspired by means of Cukierman’s efficiency, he didn’t appear in particular shocked.
“He’s a height participant within the nation,” Masi mentioned. “At the moment, it’s with regards to getting his recreation higher and rising — effects will stay coming if that’s the case … you’ve were given to construct your self up, stay construction after which with a bit of luck simply stay taking part in your perfect tennis towards the tip of the yr.”
Cukierman’s 2019 victory follows Laurens Verboven’s 2018 crown and Brandon Holt’s 2017 win on the Oracle ITA Masters, making this the 3rd consecutive yr a Trojan has gained the singles match on the tournament.
Cukierman additionally teamed up with UCLA redshirt senior Jada Hart for combined double movements in Malibu. The 2 marched into the quarterfinals with two fast wins ahead of being edged out in a tiebreak loss to wrap up their run.
At the girls’s facet, senior Angela Kulikov noticed some luck together with her spouse, USC graduate Guiliana Olmos, on the Central Coast Professional Tennis Open in Templeton closing week. The pair defeated the No. 1 seed Quinn Gleason and Ingrid Neel, former collegiate gamers within the Spherical of 16, advancing to the quarterfinal ahead of taking pictures some other convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory. Kulikov and her spouse fell brief to the No. Three seed within the semifinal.
Senior Sabrina Santamaria competed together with her spouse Dalila Jakupovic on the Tashkent Open closing week. The pair was once seeded No. Three entering the match and complicated to the semifinal following a 6-3, 6-Zero victory within the Spherical of 16. After taking a 4-2 lead within the first set, their combatants retired from the fit. The 2 persisted their sizzling efficiency with a directly set victory (6-2, 6-3) within the semifinal however misplaced the overall in a tricky 6-3, 7-6 (4) fight.
Regardless of dropping the shut fits, Santamaria and Kulikov received enjoy all through their tournaments, and coaches will have to be expecting to peer extra elite performances from the 2 all through the season.
The Trojans glance to proceed this season’s sizzling get started with the St. Francis Well being Machine ITA All-American championships starting Oct. Five in Tulsa, Okla.
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