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Univ. of Southern California Men Team News
USC’s Daniel Cukierman, Riley Smith Rack Up Round of 16 Doubles Win In NCAA Action
Friday, 05/28/2021

ORLANDO, FLA. — USC's senior tandem of Daniel Cukierman and Riley Smith roped in another top-10 opponent in the NCAA Doubles draw, taking down the No. 4 seed and second-ranked pair in today's Round  of 16 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. The win propels the two Trojans into the quarterfinals, making them the first USC pair since Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz in 2012 to reach the NCAA doubles quarterfinals. In this morning's Round of 16 singles play, Cukierman came up short of forcing a third set as he fell to the No. 2 seeded player in that draw.
Ranked #10 in the nation, Cukierman and Smith issued a swift takedown of #8 Aguilar/Thomson of Texas A&M in the opening Round of 32  yesterday. Today, the Trojans barely blinked in their 6-3, 6-4 win over TCU's Fomba/Gray, who rank #2 in the nation and were the draw's fourth-seeded pair. Cukierman and Smith held serve throughout, breaking their Horned Frog foes once in each set to set their course to the quarterfinals.
Tomorrow (May 26) at 6 p.m. ET, Cukierman and Smith will face Auburn's #26 Maclean/Murgett, who beat a 5-8 seeded pair from Kentucky today in the Round of 16.
In Cukierman's Round of 16 singles bout with No. 2 seeded Daniel Rodrigues, the Trojan senior went toe-to-toe with his South Carolina foe. After Rodrigues snagged the first set, Cukierman battled back from being down a break and would fight off three match points to level things at 5-5.  His efforts would help force a tiebreaker to decide the second set. Again, Cukierman batted away a match point, but Rodrigues would take the match with a 6-4,  7-6 (5) decision that sends him on to the quarterfinals. Cukierman had ridden an eight-match win streak into his first-ever NCAA Round of 16 appearance, which ensures him a second set of ITA All-America honors for singles. The loss to Rodrigues wrapped Cukierman's senior season with a 19-6 overall singles record. That bumped up his career count in his four seasons as a Trojan to a 95-24 career singles record.
To follow the action in Orlando, download the TennisOne app ( for live streaming. Live scores are also available at
2021 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (USTA National Campus | Orlando, Fla.)
Round of 64 - May 23
#49 Daniel Cukierman (USC) def. [9-16] #12 Alastair Gray (TCU) - 6-3, 6-4
#52 Riley Smith (USC) def. #81 Lleyton Cronje (VCU) - 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5)
Round of 32 - May 24
#49 Daniel Cukierman (USC) def. #37 Matej Vocel (OKST) - 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
[4] #5 Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) def. #52 Riley Smith (USC) - 6-1, 6-2
Round of 16 - May 25
[2] #2 Daniel Rodrigues (SC) def. #49 Daniel Cukierman (USC) - 6-4, 7-6 (5)
Round of 32 - May 24
#10 Daniel Cukierman / Riley Smith (USC) def. #8 Aguilar/Thomson (TAMU) - 6-3, 6-0
Round of 16 - May 25
#10 Daniel Cukierman / Riley Smith (USC) def. [4] #2 Fomba/Gray (TCU) - 6-3, 6-4
Quarterfinals - May 26
#10 Daniel Cukierman / Riley Smith (USC) vs. #26 Maclean/Murgett (AUB) -- 6 p.m. ET