Holt Holds Off Former Teammate, Reaches Semi-Finals At Southern California Open

Brandon Holt (photo: Lexie Wanninger/USTA SoCal)


The jetlag having passed from his recent return trip from Thailand, Brandon Holt faced what he called an “emotional” day on the court taking on his former USC teammate Daniel Cukierman from Israel for a coveted spot in the semifinals of the Southern California Open ATP Challenger Tour 50 tournament taking place this week at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Holt and Cukierman were teammates for three seasons at USC from 2017 to 2020, and together experienced the brutal shutdown of their promising season because of Covid in the spring of 2020.

“There was a lot more emotion going on in this match than I expected,” said Holt, the No. 3 seed who came out on top over his good friend, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. “I just consider him more like a brother. One thing our coach Peter Smith did was to have a team that was unbelievably close. Our team chat earlier today was putting a bunch of popcorn emojis in there as we were getting ready for the match.”

Holt continued: “I always want Daniel to do the very best and I’m one of his biggest fans. There have been times this week when we were playing next to each other and I thought, ‘We’ve done this a million times at USC.’ I don’t know. I’m not super good at playing my friends. I don’t know why that is. It was a good match and I played well enough to win.”

Holt moves on to face No. 6 seed Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, the 2017 NCAA champion from the University of Virginia in Saturday’s semifinals.

Holt said playing at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, “Feels like a second home to me. It’s a pretty important place for young tennis players to come back to, especially if you’re from Southern California.”

The 2019 NCAA champ from the University of South Carolina, Paul Jubb, also advanced to the stage of the final four, where he will meet No. 4 Mitchell Krueger, who took out Irvine’s Learner Tien, 6-4, 7-6 (6). Jubb outlasted Tien’s training partner from Temecula Omni Kumar in three sets, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1.


$41,000 – RESULTS – JANUARY 19, 2024

Singles – Quarterfinals

[6] T. Kwiatkowski (USA) d [2] M. Trungelliti (ARG) 75 63

[3] [WC] B. Holt (USA) d D. Cukierman (ISR) 62 36 60

[4] M. Krueger (USA) d L. Tien (USA) 64 76(6)

[PR] P. Jubb (GBR) d O. Kumar (USA) 67(6) 64 61

Doubles – Semifinals

[1] R. Seggerman (USA) / P. Trhac (USA) d [3] M. Kalovelonis (GRE) / B. Lock (ZIM) 76(4) 46 10-3

T. Kwiatkowski (USA) / A. Lawson (USA) d [Alt] D. King (BAR) / H. Reese (USA) 64 16 10-5


PC3 start 10:00 am

[3] [WC] B. Holt (USA) vs [6] T. Kwiatkowski (USA)

[PR] P. Jubb (GBR) vs [4] M. Krueger (USA)

Not Before 1:00 pm

DOUBLES FINAL – [1] R. Seggerman (USA) / P. Trhac (USA) vs T. Kwiatkowski (USA) / A. Lawson (USA)