SKUPSKI ENDS FINAL RUN AT NCAA’S
ATHENS, Ga. --- LSU men’s tennis senior Neal Skupski’s career came to a close in heartbreaking-fashion, Friday, as he was forced to retire his match due to injury in the round of 16 at NCAA Singles Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
No. 55 Skupski met defeat at the hands of USC’s top-seeded Steve Johnson who has now won 69 consecutive matches.
After dropping the first set, Skupski battled back to make in 5-5 before going down with an ankle injury. He returned for one more point, before the match was retired 6-3, 6-5, in favor of No. 1 Johnson.
“At first playing against someone like Johnson, I think Neal felt pressured to perform at his absolute best which caused him to lose the first set,” head coach Jeff Brown said. “Neal did a good job of settling down in the second set, giving himself a chance before he went down with an injury. It is definitely an unfortunate ending to what has been a very successful career.”
The three-time All-American will finish the season 18-9 with six of those wins coming over ranked opponents. Overall, Skupski has racked up 78 victories in singles throughout his career and was ranked as high as No. 26 in the singles ITA rankings.
“This marks the end of an amazing career and the Skupski era,” Brown said. “Neal is a good leader and someone that we will miss a lot. We wish him the best of luck in the future. I know he is destined to do great things in the world of tennis.”
NCAA Singles Championships
May 23-28, 2012
Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
Round of 16
#1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. #55 Neal Skupski, 6-3, 6-5 ret.