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Greatest LSU athletes of the Decade: #36 Neal Skupski

AEGON Open Nottingham - Day Six - Nottingham Tennis Centre
Neal, on the left
Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

O’Neal. Hilliard. Jefferson. Andrews. Nola. These are just a few of the families who have sent multiple athletes through the LSU athletic programs. You can add another name to the list: Skupski.

The Skupski LSU legacy began in 2003 when Ken Skupski, out of Manchester England, joined the LSU Tiger program. His four years would be some of the most dominant in Tiger history, racking up multiple All-American and All-SEC recognition, ultimately finishing fourth on the team’s all time win list with 104.

Success from the Skupski’s would continue into this last decade with Ken’s younger brother Neal.

Neal made his presence felt early in his Tiger career going 21-16 in singles and 22-14 in doubles becoming the first Tiger to be named a doubles All-American as a freshman. He had 12 wins against the top-150 singles competitors and would finish the year No.4 in the rankings.

Things were not as smooth for the younger Skupski his sophomore season where he posted a sub-.500 record in both singles and doubles competition.

A year later as an upperclassman, Neal would rebound on the doubles side. He would post a career best doubles wins in a season with 29 including nine against top 60 opponents. The duo of Skupski and Sebastian Carlson would at one point be ranked as high as 8th in the nation. His accomplishments that season earned him another All-American recognition in doubles. In the process he became just the second Tiger in program history to earn two doubles All-American recognitions with the program.

Neal would save his best for last. As a senior in the 2011-2012 season, he posted 22 wins in both singles and doubles en route to earning two All-American recognitions, one on the singles side and one for doubles. His career with the Tigers would end in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, having to retire due to injuries to eventual champion Steve Johnson. Neal was also named team captain in his final season with the Tigers.

Skupski would finish his Tiger career in 2012 with 75 singles wins and 87 doubles wins. In addition to Skupski’s All-Americans, he was a four-time All-SEC selection.

There is always pressure following in the footsteps of an accomplished family member. Neal Skupski would not cave to that pressure. He established himself as one of the better players in the nation over his four years with the Tigers, and in the process further boosted the Skupski name within LSU Tennis.