Luka Sucevic Enjoys Time at Oracle ITA Masters|
Sept. 26, 2017
MALIBU, Calif. - Growing up in Belgrade, Serbia, junior Luka Sucevic dreamed of one day going to California, and this past weekend his dream came true by becoming the BIG EAST Conference’s male representative at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, Calif.
Sucevic joined sophomore Jessica Livianu as the pair represented New York’s Team from nearly 3,000 miles away.
“It was such a good experience for me,” said Sucevic on the tournament. “Although I didn’t play very well, the tournament organization was on a great level.”
The junior became the second St. John’s men’s tennis student-athlete to compete at the event, joining Robert Livi who appeared in last year’s tournament.
This national collegiate championship event was held at Pepperdine University and the Malibu Racquet Club and featured the returning Player of the Year from each Division I athletic conference with one additional wild card spot. The tournament consisted of a double elimination 32-player men's singles draw and a double elimination 32-player women's singles draw, along with a single elimination 32-team mixed doubles draw.
Sucevic was seeded 28th and provided with the heavy task of drawing the No. 5 competitor from Elon, Felipe Sarrasague. After falling by a 6-1 score in the first set, Sucevic settled in and battled throughout the second set. The junior saw his lead disappear as the set headed for a tiebreak, but Sucevic held strong throughout the tiebreak to claim the second set, 7-6. However with the California sun beating down, Sucevic ran into cramping problems in the third set and was forced to retire and concede the match.
Looking to bounce back on Friday, Sucevic matched up with No. 21 Christofer Goncalves from New Mexico State in the consolation round of the tournament. However the Aggie proved to be too much for Sucevic as Goncalves defeated the Johnny, 6-1 and 6-3.
Despite the two losses, Sucevic was able to enjoy his experience in Malibu while learning a lot from his matches.
“It was the first time for me to get to go to California,” said Sucevic. “So I enjoyed that a lot.”
Sucevic and his team are back in action on Oct. 6 at the Farnsworth Invitational hosted by Princeton.