April 2, 2013
Rice freshman Adam Gustafsson has been named the Conference USA Male Tennis Athlete of the Week after posting his first career win over an opponent ranked in the ITA singles top 40.
Gustafsson roared back from an opening set loss to defeat Tulsa's Japie De Klerk, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Tulsa's home court last Friday. De Klerk, who had won the C-USA weekly honor two weeks earlier, had been unbeaten in his last eight matches before facing Gustafsson and was 10-1 playing at No. 2 singles entering the match.
After evening the match with a 6-3 second set win, Gustafsson had to rally from a 4-3 deficit in the deciding, winning four of the final five games.
One of three freshmen in the Owls' starting lineup this year who are a combined 27-22, Gustafsson has posted a 10-8 singles mark, including a 7-5 record since moving to the spot at No. 2 singles. He has won seven of his last 10 marches.
Gustafsson is tied with fellow freshman Tommy Bennett (10-6) for the team lead in singles, while the Owls' third first-year player, Gustavo Gonzalez, has posted a 7-8 mark.
The Owls will be back in action on Wednesday when they host UTSA at 1 p.m. The match is currently scheduled for Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on the Rice campus, but may be forced indoors to the MET Downtown if current weather forecasts hold.