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Pac-12 announces 2021 men's tennis All-Conference honors

May 20, 2021

MEN’S SINGLES PLAYER OF THE YEAR: DANIEL CUKIERMAN, USC
MEN’S FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: GUSTAF STROM, ARIZONA
MEN’S DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR: DANIEL CUKIERMAN & RILEY SMITH, USC 
MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR: CLANCY SHIELDS, ARIZONA

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference announced today the Pac-12 Men’s Tennis honors and All-Conference teams for the 2021 season, as determined by a polling of the Conference coaches. USC’s Daniel Cukierman is the Pac-12 Singles Player of the Year, ARIZONA’s Gustaf Strom was voted Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and the USC duo of Cukierman and Riley Smith were tabbed the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year. Arizona’s head coach Clancy Shields was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his fifth year at the head of the program. 

PAC-12 SINGLES PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Daniel Cukierman, Sr., USC (Tel Aviv, Israel)

The No. 49 nationally ranked singles player in the nation, Cukierman led USC to its second-straight and fifth overall Pac-12 Tournament title and the No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament. USC’s captain and top singles player, he carries a 14-5 overall record including a team-high five match-clinching victories so far this season entering the NCAA quarterfinals. The 2020 ITA All-American also secured one of 64 spots in the NCAA Championship singles draw as an automatic qualifier as the Pac-12's top singles player, his second career selection to the NCAA singles draw. The real estate development major is the 12th Trojan to be honored with the Singles Player of the Year award, and the first to earn the honor since 2017. 

PAC-12 FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Gustaf Strom, Fr., ARIZONA (Sweden) 

Arizona’s No. 45 nationally-ranked freshman Gustaf Strom climbed his way to the Wildcats' top singles spot for the 2021 season. In his first year, Strom compiled a team-best 18-3 singles record - all in the top half of the lineup - for the 2021 season. A team-leading five of Strom’s victories came against ranked opponents, against opposition as high as No. 14 in the ITA Rankings. The freshman tied for second in Arizona’s program history for singles wins in a spring season. Tying for second-most wins in the Pac-12 with 18, Strom played a major role in helping Arizona take down seven ranked teams on the season en route to a 21-8 overall record and first-ever appearance in the NCAA third round. Strom will be representing Arizona in the NCAA singles championship, set to take place later this week. He is the first-ever Wildcat to be honored with the Freshman/Newcomer of the Year award. 

PAC-12 DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR: Daniel Cukierman, Sr., (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Riley Smith, R-Sr., (Long Beach, Calif.), USC

Currently the nation's No. 10 ranked tandem, Cukierman and Smith are the seventh USC duo all-time to win the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year. The pair is USC’s most successful this season with the most wins at 20-3 so far this season. The pair were named All-Americans in 2020 and have remained among the nation's elite doubles teams throughout 2021 after opening the campaign as the No. 1 pair. Along with their selection to the NCAA Championship singles bracket, Cukierman and Smith are set to team up for the national doubles competition as well as the automatic qualifiers out of the Pac-12 - marking their first appearance as a doubles team. First though, the duo will lead the Trojans into the NCAA quarterfinals where they are set to face No. 4 seed Texas later today with Cukierman and Smith at the No. 1 spot. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in economics and is pursuing a master’s in business taxation, while Cukierman is majoring in real estate development.

PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR: Clancy Shields, ARIZONA

In his fifth year at the helm, Shields has guided Arizona’s program back into the national spotlight and earned his second consecutive Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor as a result. The Wildcats (21-8, 5-2 Pac-12) earned a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2021, advancing to the third round for the first time in program history with victories over top-20 ranked Michigan and Kentucky. Among Arizona's 21 wins this season were five ranked victories and wins over eight league champions. Shield’s squad earned the No. 2 seed at the Pac-12 Championships, its highest seed in program history.

2021 PAC-12 MEN'S TENNIS ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

FIRST TEAM

Name School Year Hometown
Daniel Cukierman USC Sr.  Tel Aviv, Israel
Keegan Smith  UCLA Sr.  San Diego, Calif.
Nathan Ponwith  Arizona State Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz.
Gustaf Strom Arizona Sr. Sweden
Clement Chidekh Washington  So. Lyon, France
Axel Geller  Stanford Sr. Buenos Aires, Argentina

SECOND TEAM

Name School Year Hometown
Govind Nanda  UCLA  Jr. Redlands, Calif.
Arthur Fery  Stanford Fr. Wimbledon, England
Riley Smith  USC R-Sr.  Long Beach, Calif.
Jonas Ziverts  Arizona So.  Solna, Sweden
Emmanuel Coste  Oregon Sr. Aix-en-Provence, France
Joshua Charlton Oregon  Jr.  Traralgon, Victoria, Australia

HONORABLE MENTION: Filip Malbasic, ARIZ; Alejandro Reguant, ARIZ; Drew Baird, UCLA; Stefan Dostanic, USC; Bradley Frye, USC; Lodewijk Weststrate, USC; Franco Capalbo, UTAH; Ewen Lumsden, WASH.