Duke claimed the doubles point for the sixth-straight match, winning what started out as tight matches on all three courts. After recording five consecutive wins at the No. 3 doubles position, freshman Raphael Hemmeler and sophomore Cale Hammond moved up to the No. 2 spot Friday with similar success. The Duke tandem dispatched Clemson's Gerardo Meza and Zachary Rigsby, 8-4, to remain unbeaten on the season at 6-0.
In the matchup on court one, the 26th-ranked duo of junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Chris Mengel earned a pair of late breaks to defeat the Tigers' Yannick Maden and Ayrton Wibowo, 8-6, and clinch the doubles point for Duke. With the win, Cunha and Mengel improved to 12-4 overall and 5-0 in ACC action.
Sophomore Fred Saba and freshman Jason Tahir completed the Duke sweep in doubles with a victory from the No. 3 position. Saba and Tahir took five straight games to overcome a 4-0 deficit, ultimately edging Dominique Maden and Wes Moran by an 8-6 margin.
The 3-0 showing in doubles continued what has been a solid stretch for the Blue Devils, who are a combined 12-3 in ACC doubles action and 13-1 when claiming the point.
"It was nice to get the sweep in doubles," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "We had some rough patches on one and three, and did a really good job. That was key to get that sweep."
Duke kept the momentum going in singles, recording first-set victories on all six courts. Hemmeler was the first player to wrap up his match, racing to a 6-1, 6-2 win against Clemson's Hunter Harrington on court five. The victory was Hemmeler's 10th of the year in dual match play and moved him to 7-1 from the No. 5 spot in the lineup.
Senior Torsten Wietoska, listed at No. 106 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest singles poll, collected his 20th singles win of the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Wibowo in the No. 3 contest, giving the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead in the match.
Cunha, ranked sixth in the ITA poll, clinched the match for Duke from the No. 1 position. The Jaú, Brazil native fell behind 66th-ranked Yannick Maden, 4-0, early on, but battled back to take the first set by a score of 6-4. Maden took a lead again in the second set before Cunha notched a break at 3-all on his way to a 6-3 win. Cunha now owns an overall record of 28-6, including a 4-1 ledger in ACC contests and a 16-5 mark against ranked opponents.
"Cunha's been playing great tennis," Smith said. "He got down both sets today against a good player and was very mentally strong. He just continues to do a great job at the top of the lineup. That was a big win for him today - winning the second set really helped change the momentum and helped those last three guys on court finish their players off."
No. 26 Mengel followed suit just minutes later, defeating Meza by the same 6-4, 6-3 scores in a hard-fought match on court two. The victory moved Mengel to 26-7 overall with a 12-3 record in the No. 2 slot. Mengel is also 4-1 in conference play.
The two remaining matches on courts four and six went to third sets, with Saba pulling out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 decision against Dominique Maden in the No. 4 matchup. Saba extended his win streak to three matches while also picking up his 10th victory of the spring at the No. 4 position. Meanwhile, Tahir and Rigsby swapped sets on court six before Tahir took the decisive set by a 6-3 score to seal the 7-0 sweep for the Blue Devils.
"We were down a little bit at a couple of matches up top and we were still able to get six first sets," Smith said. "I thought Clemson competed very well. They're great competitors and they pushed us there and made their run, but we did a good job of regrouping and finishing them off. It's really nice to get the 7-0 win."
Clemson fell to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in conference play with the loss. The Tigers travel to Chapel Hill to face No. 24 North Carolina on Sunday.
Duke also returns to action Sunday to close out its homestand against No. 62 Georgia Tech. The match is slated for 12 p.m. at Ambler Tennis Stadium. Live scoring, live video and a live blog will be available for Sunday's contest.
#6 Duke 7, #64 Clemson 0
Mar 30, 2012 at Durham, N.C.
Ambler Tennis Stadium
1. #26 Henrique Cunha/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Yannick Maden/Ayrton Wibowo (CLEM) 8-6
2. Cale Hammond/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Gerardo Meza/Zachary Rigsby (CLEM) 8-4
3. Fred Saba/Jason Tahir (DU) def. Dominique Maden/Wes Moran (CLEM) 8-6
1. #6 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #66 Yannick Maden (CLEM) 6-4, 6-3
2. #26 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Gerardo Meza (CLEM) 6-4, 6-3
3. #106 Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Ayrton Wibowo (CLEM) 6-4, 6-4
4. Fred Saba (DU) def. Dominique Maden (CLEM) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
5. Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Hunter Harrington (CLEM) 6-1, 6-2
6. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Zachary Rigsby (CLEM) 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
Clemson 8-9, 4-2 ACC; National ranking #64
Duke 15-3, 4-1 ACC; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,3,1,2,4,6)