USA's Jacobs to open play at NCAA tennis championships


ATHENS, Ga. – University of South Alabama senior Tuki Jacobs (Windhoek, Namibia) will take on Kentucky's Will Bushamuka in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Singles Championships hosted by Georgia, it was announced Tuesday.

Jacobs, ranked No. 77 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, faces the No. 9-16 seed Bushamuka on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

Bushamuka will be Jacobs's eighth ranked opponent of the season. Jacobs is 5-2 against top-100 opposition this season, including wins the last three of those matches.

Jacobs brings a 24-6 overall record to the championships, including an 11-3 mark on court No. 1 that earned him Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row. He has won in his last four outings on the top court, including two in the Sun Belt Championships.

His last match was a win over then No. 84 Zachary Kennedy (2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3) in the conference tournament championship match over three weeks ago on April 23rd. The victory was Jacobs' second against Kennedy this season.

"I've been practicing twice a day since the conference tournament final," said Jacobs. "I've been in the gym and jogging to stay very active. That's the best I could do to keep in shape and make sure I'm on top of my fitness levels."

Bushamuka was named the Ohio Valley's ITA Player to Watch for the second-straight season, climbed to No. 17 in the nation and earned first team All-SEC honors. He compiled a 14-7 singles record this season and earned a team-best seven wins over ranked opponents this year, including a victory over No. 5 Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bushamuka had two additional wins over top-10 opponents: a win over No. 7 Alfredo Perez of Florida and No. 8 Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M.

The winner of Wednesday's match will face either Gustavan Hansson of Mississippi or Oklahoma's Spencer Papa on Thursday.

"I'd love to end my career at South Alabama with wins in the tournament, but we'll have to see," said Jacobs. "The best I can give is the best that I have. I'm very confident in my game style, so we'll see what I can pull off in the tournament."

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