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Fred Saba
Men's Tennis Posts Two Victories Sunday
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/10/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. – The ninth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team picked up two wins Sunday at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, defeating No. 21 Michigan, 5-2, while sweeping cross-town foe N.C. Central, 7-0. The Blue Devils advanced to 9-1 on the year.

“It was a really big home weekend for us,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “I am excited with how we played and we competed extremely well top to bottom. We handled adversity well, and I am very proud of my team. This will give us a lot of confidence going into National Team Indoors."

No. 9 Duke 5, No. 21 Michigan 2

Duke claimed their ninth consecutive doubles point to start the season on their way to posting a 5-2 victory of Michigan (4-3). Playing without the services of senior captain Henrique Cunha in the match, as well as junior Chris Mengel in singles, the Blue Devils used their team depth to overwhelm the Wolverines in the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader.

The junior tandem of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel, the 37th-ranked doubles pair in the nation, won the first doubles match of the afternoon, defeating Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu on court two, 8-4. The only matchup that saw ranked teams go head-to-head was played at the No. 1 position in the lineup, where the tandem of No. 39 Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir edged No. 30 Evan King and Vlad Stefan of Michigan, 8-5. The win is the duo’s 15th of the season, as they own a 15-4 record.

“I have always been an emotional player,” said Redlicki after the match. “Playing with a crowd really helps, I have always dreamed of it. It is nice to know those people are behind you as you are competing.”

At the No. 3 spot, sophomore Raphael Hemmeler and freshman Bruno Semenzato trailed in their match against Michigan’s Barrett Franks and Justin Rossi, 5-7, before the match was left unfinished.

The Blue Devils claimed the first three matches in singles to clinch the team win at 4-0. Hemmeler posted the first victory in singles for the team as he overwhelmed No. 48 Vlad Stefan 6-1, 6-3 from the No. 3 position in the lineup. On court four, Tahir cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 straight set victory over Zhu.

Playing in the No. 2 position for the second match of his career, Redlicki used his powerful serve to edge Michigan’s Petrone, 6-2, 6-4. The win from Redlicki clinched the match for the Blue Devils. Redlicki posted two aces in his final service game to secure the match for the team.

“I am proud of Mike [Redlciki], as he was able to step up and help clinch the doubles and singles,” said Smith. “He came through when we needed him. Jason Tahir had a heck of a day as well. He is playing some of his best tennis right now."

With the score standing at 4-0 in favor of the Blue Devils, Michigan claimed their first win of the afternoon on court one, as Saba dropped a hard-fought, 6-4, 6-4, decision to King. Semenzato was defeated in his match at the No. 5 position against Bernstein, 6-4, 6-3. After suffering a narrow loss in the opening set in the No. 6 position, freshman Josh Levine came from behind for the second time in three days to edge Franks, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 1-0 (7).

Tennis Match Results
Michigan vs Duke
Feb 10, 2013 at Durham, NC
(Sheffied Indoor Tennis Center)
#9 Duke 5, #21 Michigan 2

Singles competition
1. Evan King (MICH) def. #23 Fred Saba (DU) 6-4, 6-4
2. #14 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Alex Petrone (MICH) 6-2, 6-4
3. #38 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. #48 Vlad Stefan (MICH) 6-1, 6-3
4. #123 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Michael Zhu (MICH) 6-3, 6-0
5. Shaun Bernstein (MICH) def. Bruno Semenzato (DU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Barrett Franks (MICH) 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 1-0 (10-7)

Doubles competition
1. #39 Jason Tahir/Michael Redlicki (DU) def. #30 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (MICH) 8-5
2. #37 Fred Saba/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (MICH) 8-4
3. Raphael Hemmeler/Bruno Semenzato (DU) vs. Barrett Franks/Justin Rossi (MICH) 5-7, unfinished

Match Notes:
Michigan 4-3; National ranking #21
Duke 8-1; National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,4,2,1,5,6)
T-2:55 A-237

No. 9 Duke 7, N.C. Central 0

In the second match of the day, Duke put away cross-town foe N.C. Central, 7-0, picking up the doubles point and earning straight set victories in each of the six singles matches. N.C. Central falls to 0-1 on the season.

In doubles, Saba teamed with Levine in the No. 3 position and the duo won eight consecutive games to defeat Tamina Kienka and Jamal Hoyte, 8-0, while the pair of freshman Daniel McCall and Redlicki clinched the doubles point for Duke from the No. 2 spot with an 8-2 win over Daniil Gerasimov and Jose Fabara.

In the No. 1 position, the tandem of Hemmeler and Semenzato led their match against NCCU’s Thomas Persico and Fabrice George, 6-3, before the match was left unfinished.

Redlicki picked up his fourth win of the day after he picked up the first singles win of the match from the No. 2 position, 6-1, 6-0, over Jose Fabara, while McCall was impressive in his debut at the No. 5 position with a 6-0, 6-0 win over NCCU’s Kienka. Levine clinched the match for the second time in three days after cruising to victory over Jamal Hoyte at the No. 6 spot.

Hemmeler picked up his second singles victory of the day after the Zurich, Switzerland product notched a 6-0, 6-3 win over Fabrice George at the No. 4 position, while Saba defeated Daniil Gerasimov, 6-2, 6-0. Playing on court three, Semenzato notched the first win of his Duke career with a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Thomas Persico.

Up next, the team will travel to Seattle, Wash., to take part in the ITA National Team Indoors from Feb 15-18. The Blue Devils went 3-1 at the event last season, falling in the semifinals to Southern California, 4-0. 

Tennis Match Results
N.C. Central vs Duke
Feb 10, 2013 at Durham, NC
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#9 Duke 7, N.C. Central 0

Singles competition
1. #23 Fred Saba (DU) def. Daniil Gerasimov (NCCU) 6-2, 6-0
2. #14 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Jose Fabara (NCCU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Thomas Persico (NCCU) 6-1, 6-1
4. #38 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Fabrice George (NCCU) 6-0, 6-3
5. Daniel McCall (DU) def. Tamina Kienka (NCCU) 6-0, 6-0
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Jamal Hoyte (NCCU) 6-0, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Raphael Hemmeler/Bruno Semenzato (DU) vs. Thomas Persico/Fabrice George (NCCU) 6-3, unfinished
2. Daniel McCall/Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Daniil Gerasimov/Jose Fabara (NCCU) 8-2
3. Fred Saba/Josh Levine (DU) def. Tamina Kienka/Jamal Hoyte (NCCU) 8-0

Match Notes:
N.C. Central 0-1
Duke 8-1; National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,5,6,4,1,3)
T-2:01 A-121