CLEMSON, S.C. – The ninth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team captured six straight-set victories in singles, leading to a 7-0 sweep over Clemson Friday afternoon at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center. The Blue Devils improve to 17-4 on the season and 5-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play, while Clemson falls to 14-4 for the spring and 3-2 in ACC play.
With the win over the Tigers, fifth-year head coach Ramsey Smith earns his 100th win in his tenure as head coach. He joins Steve Strome, John LeBar and Jay Lapidus as the only coaches in the program’s history to win at least 100 matches, while also becoming the first person in the team’s history to win at least 100 matches in singles and doubles as a player, as well as head coach.
"Well, I guess this is one record that Cunha won't be able break this year,” Smith joked after the match. “On a serious note, 100 wins is a nice number to reach but it is not about me, it's all about the team.”
The Blue Devils were able to capture the doubles point with wins on court one and two. Clemson won the first match of the day on court three, as Hunter Harrington and Gerardo Meza defeated junior Fred Saba and freshman Daniel McCall, 8-2. Duke rebounded at the top position, as the top-ranked duo of Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler overwhelmed Yannick and Dominick Maden, 8-3, to even the doubles score at one.
The Blue Devils carried their momentum from doubles into the singles portion of the match, gaining the early edge over the Tigers. Hemmeler cruised in his match at the fifth position over Rigsby, 6-1, 6-0, to claim the first match in singles match. The win for Hemmeler is his team-leading 28th victory of the season and his fourth consecutive. Saba pushed the Duke lead to 3-0 after he downed Harrington, 6-4, 6-3, at the No. 2 spot in the lineup. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saba remains perfect in ACC play this spring with a 6-0 record.
At the No. 3 position, Redlicki was able to clinch the team win for Duke with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Meza. With the win, the rookie won his 25th match of the season and his third consecutive, as he now owns a 5-1 record in ACC play.
At the top spot in the lineup, Cunha continued his dominant senior season, as he defeated No. 17 Yannick Maden, 6-4, 6-3. The win for Cunha is his 14th consecutive and his 13th over a ranked opponent for the season. Chris Mengel pushed the Duke lead to 6-0 after his 7-6 (5), 6-1 win over Dominique Maden at the fourth position, while Tahir completed the sweep for Blue Devils with a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win on court six.
Up next, Duke will travel to Atlanta, Ga., to face Georgia Tech Sunday, April 7. First serve is set for noon.
Tennis Match Results
Hoke Sloan Tennis Center
#9 Duke 7, #19 Clemson 0
1. #5 Henrique Cunha (DU) d. #17 Yannick Maden(CU) 6-4, 6-3
2. #25 Fred Saba (DU) d. Hunter Harrington (CU) 6-4, 6-3
3. #56 Michael Redlicki (DU) d. Gerardo Meza (CU) 6-4, 6-4
4. #89 Chris Mengel (DU) d. Dominique Maden (CU) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1
5. #73 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) d. Zachary Rigsby (CU) 6-1, 6-0
6. Jason Tahir (DU) d. Austin Ansari (CU) 6-4 7-6 (8-6)
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 3, 1, 4, 6
1. #1 Cunha/Hemmeler (DU) d. #17 Y. Maden/D. Maden (CU) 8-3
2. #14 Tahir/Redlicki (DU) d. Rigsby/Wibowo (CU) 8-4
3. Harrington/Meza (CU) d. 44 Saba/McCall (DU) 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2