Neal Skupski’s Senior Season

Senior captain Neal Skupski has helped lead the Tigers to the number twenty-one ranking. Head Coach Jeff Brown knew Skupski was a special player from the beginning.

“He’s been able to play at a really high level since the beginning,” Brown said. He was thrown in the singles mix in the beginning and he was also in the top of the doubles right away.

Skupski never fully focused on tennis before coming to Baton Rouge, playing soccer and golf before coming to LSU. Brown had to mold him to become a complete tennis player.

“Coming into college I didn’t really have a tennis brain,” Skupski said. “I didn’t know how to play a match because when I was younger I didn’t really play many tournaments.” Skupski also added that Brown and assistant coach Danny Bryan have taught him how to keep his focus during a match.

Skupski and the team will face Northwestern May 12 in Durham, N.C., for the first round of the NCAA tournament. Skupski plans to turn pro in January.


LSU Men’s Tennis Team’s International Flavor

There are 14 members of the LSU Men’s Tennis team, seven of whom are from outside the United States.

While Les Miles and Trent Johnson travel the country to scout recruits, head coach Jeff Brown has to rely on tournaments and information from his players to find players overseas.

“Someone that knows the most about somebody is somebody you can talk to that’s currently on your team,” Brown said.

Knowing people is how Brown got English born senior Neal Skupski to Baton Rouge.  His brother Ken played for Brown from 2003 until 2007.  When Neal realized he wasn’t ready to go pro, Ken convinced him to come to LSU to develop for four years.

“He told me about the facilities here those are very good,” Neal said.  “The coaches here, Jeff and Danny, they would work with me for four years and improve my game.”

For some members, the ability to prepare for a life after tennis attracts them to the purple and gold.

“After you finish high school pretty much it’s either you go professional or you just study for university,” Australian born junior Stefan Szacinski said. “(LSU) gives you the option of playing competitive tennis at a high level, whilst also pursuing your degree which is a great option for me.”

For more on Neal Skupski’s decision to come to LSU, check out this extended interview clip.

Check this map out for a visual representation of the seven players’ hometowns and just how far away they are from LSU

LSU defeats UNO, 6-1

The temperature at Dub Robinson Stadium may have been cold Sunday night, but the LSU men’s tennis team’s rackets remained red hot.

LSU defeated UNO 6-1, to cap off a 3-0 weekend, including an upset of twelfth ranked Texas A&M earlier Sunday afternoon.

“We really took care of business against a team… that’s not quite our level,” head coach Jeff Brown said.

Against UNO, the Tigers rested some of their players, but kept senior Neal Skupski in after he won both his doubles and singles matches against Texas A&M. Skupski did the same against UNO.

“We need somebody to hold down the top spot against a pretty good player,” Brown said. Skupski answered the call, winning his singles match in straight sets.

“Nearly everyone got to play today, it was just a great, great team effort, all around,” Skupski said.

The Tigers open up SEC play Friday against Kentucky at 3:00.