DURHAM, N.C. – Senior Henrique Cunha tied Doug Root’s school record of 121 career doubles victories, as the fifth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team swept Elon Saturday inside Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, 9-0. The Blue Devils moved to 2-0 on the season with the dual match win.
“I was really happy with the way we played today; top-to-bottom looked really good,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “We started off strong in doubles. I thought Cunha and Rafa [Hemmeler] played one of their better matches against a really good No. 1 team. That set the tone for both of them in singles. Overall, I was just really pleased with how things went in the first home match.”
After falling to Cameron Silverman in a three set match in the fall, Cunha, the 11th-ranked player in the Intercollegiate Tennis rankings, gained revenge in the No. 1 singles position by topping Silverman Saturday, 6-2, 6-3. The Duke senior rallied in the second set of the match and won six consecutive games after initially falling behind a break, 3-0, to clinch the match for the team.
Sophomore Raphael Hemmeler posted the first singles point of the day after recording an impressive, 6-0, 6-0 win over Juan Madrid at the No. 6 spot. Freshman Michael Redlicki continued his strong start to his first spring season, defeating Robert Lindgren, 6-0, 6-3, on court three. Junior Chris Mengel, the 43rd-ranked player in the rankings, overwhelmed Brian Kowalski, 6-1, 6-1, on court four, before sophomore Jason Tahir earned a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Jordan Kaufman in the No. 5 singles match.
Junior Fred Saba played in the lone match of the day that went to a third set, eventually pulling away from No. 121 Stefan Fortmann by winning four of the final five games in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision in the No. 2 singles contest.
Playing a rare best of nine format, freshman Daniel McCall defeated Ismael Sanchez Delfin, 6-2, 6-1, in the No. 8 singles match, while fellow rookie Josh Levine won his match over Carlos Arbodela, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 7 slot.
In doubles, the top-ranked pair of Cunha and Hemmeler earned their 11th consecutive victory dating back to the fall, defeating No. 22 Silverman and Fortmann, 8-2, in the No. 1 position. Cunha will have the opportunity to break Root’s record when the Blue Devils host Charlotte at 1 p.m. in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. On court two, Redlicki and Tahir, the 39th-ranked pair in the ITA rankings, clinched the doubles point for the Blue Devils, defeating Kaufman and Kowalski, 8-2. Saba and Mengel completed the sweep for the team, downing Lindgren and Madrid, 8-5.
Live video and live stats will be available for Sunday’s match against Charlotte beginning at 1 p.m. Fans can also follow Duke men’s tennis on twitter (@Duke_MTEN).
Tennis Match Results
Elon vs Duke
Jan 19, 2013 at Durham, NC
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#5 Duke 9, Elon 0
1. #1 Henrique Cunha/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. #22 Stefan Fortmann/Cameron Silverman (ELON) 8-2
2. #39 Michael Redlicki/Jason Tahir (DU) def. Jordan Kaufman/Brian Kowalski (ELON) 8-2
3. #37 Fred Saba/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Juan Madrid/Robert Lindgren (ELON) 8-5
1. #11 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. #21 Cameron Silverman (ELON) 6-2, 6-3
2. #23 Fred Saba (DU) def. #117 Stefan Fortmann (ELON) 4-6, 6-4, 5-3
3. #14 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Robert Lindgren (ELON) 6-0, 6-3
4. #46 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Brian Kowalski (ELON) 6-1, 6-1
5. #123 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Jordan Kaufman (ELON) 6-4, 6-4
6. #38 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Juan Madrid (ELON) 6-0, 6-0
7. Josh Levine (DU) def. Carlos Arboleda (ELON) 6-0, 6-1
8. Daniel McCall (DU) def. Ismael S. Delfin (ELON) 6-2, 6-1
Duke 2-0; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Singles (6,3,4,1,5,7,8,2)
Teams agreed to play 7 and 8 singles.