Every Thursday during the summer GoDuke.com will take a look back at former Duke men's tennis All-America selections. The Blue Devils have had 22 players earn a total of 39 total All-America honors. Nicolas Alvarez was Duke's last All-America selection, picking up the accolade in 2015.
Peter Ayers (1995) and Rob Chess (1995, 1996)
Duke's doubles team of Peter Ayers and Rob Chess brought All-America accolades to Durham at the end of the 1995 season. Chess also added a singles All-America selection in 1996.
Ayers and Chess formed one of the most productive Duke doubles tandems, playing the most matches together of any Blue Devil duo, 115, and owning the second-most wins as a pair with 75. The two won 28 matches during the 1994-95 campaign, which was the most in program history at the time and is currently the sixth most. Ayers and Chess won 14 ACC doubles matches during their careers, good for the second most by a Duke pair in league play.
At the end of the 1995 season, Ayers and Chess were selected to the NCAA Doubles Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing 6-3, 6-2 to Stanford's Paul Goldstein and Scott Humphries. The two finished the 1995 season ranked fifth in the country, ended 1994 ranked 27th and completed 1996 standing 20th.
Chess was the 1996 ACC Tournament MVP as Duke captured league crowns all four years of his career (1993-96). Chess is ranked fifth in Duke history with 112 singles victories and one of 10 members of Duke's 200-win club, owning 205 (93 doubles triumphs). Chess' .732 singles winning percentage is the eighth best in program history.
Chess, a three-time All-ACC honoree, also made appearances in the 1995 and 1996 NCAA Singles Tournaments, advancing to the Round of 32 both times. He had three years finishing as a ranked singles player, standing 49th in 1994, 33rd in 1995 and 13th in 1996.
In singles, Ayers won the league's No. 3 singles flight in 1993 and 1994, when he was an All-ACC selection. He is one of 16 members of the Duke 100-win club, finishing with 103 singles victories, and one of 10 in the 200-win club, owning 201 by adding 98 doubles triumphs. Ayers' .885 ACC singles winning percentage (23-3 record) is good for the fifth best in program history.
Following his Duke career, Ayers competed briefly on the ATP Challenger Tour and satellite circuits achieving world rankings in singles and doubles. Currently, he is an Elite Coach for High Performance and Adult Team Clinics at the LTP Tennis Club in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
After his Blue Devil tenure ended, Chess turned to Wall Street and was a trader at the Mercantile Exchange. Chess was in the World Trade Center on September 11 when the first plane crashed into the building.