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Courtesy: Whitney Hills
Jason Tahir
Duke Sweeps Hawai'i in Opener, 9-0
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/10/2013
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HONOLULU, Hawai'i - The fifth-ranked Duke men's tennis team captured its first victory of 2013 in paradise Wednesday with an impressive 9-0 sweep over Hawai'i. With the victory, the Blue Devils improve to a 5-0 mark in season openers under the guidance of head coach Ramsey Smith.

"I am very happy with our performance today in our season opener against Hawaii," said Smith. "We were strong from top to bottom and all three freshmen were impressive in their dual match debut. We've been practicing hard this week, and that carried over to the match today."

Duke (1-0) was able to gain an early 1-0 advantage over Hawai'i (0-1) after claiming the doubles point. Playing on court two, the 37th-ranked duo of freshman Michael Redlicki and sophomore Jason Tahir cruised to an 8-2 win against Danilo Casanova and Chas Okamoto. The win is their fifth consecutive dating back to the fall. The top-ranked pair of senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler overwhelmed Jonathan Brooklyn and Dymtro Kovalyov on their way to an 8-1 victory in their first action since capturing the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in November. Cunha now sits just one victory shy of matching Doug Root for the most career doubles victories in program history with 121.

After taking an early 3-1 advantage, the junior pair of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel completed the sweep for the team against Jared Spiker and David Schuster from the No. 3 position, 8-2.

Duke proved to be too much for the Warriors in singles, as 11th-ranked Cunha rolled to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kovalyov in the No. 1 spot, while Saba, who was ranked No. 23 in the latest ITA rankings, defeated Brooklyn, 7-5, 6-3. Making his dual match debut at the No. 3 position, 14th-ranked Redlicki earned the first victory of his career in the spring season, overpowering Spiker in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.

At the No. 4 position, No. 43 Mengel cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Okamoto. Hemmeler, who earned a No. 38 ranking in the latest ITA rankings, captured his first win of the spring by defeating Casanova at the No. 5 position, 6-1, 6-4, while No. 123 Tahir won his match of the year in the No. 6 position over Nils Schuhmann, 6-1,6-2 .

Freshman Daniel McCall defeated Carter Lam, 6-1, 6-2, while fellow freshman Josh Levine was the third freshmen for the Blue Devils to earn the first dual season win of his career, edging Schuster in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, to complete the sweep for the Blue Devils.  

The team will play its home opener against Elon on Saturday, Jan. 19 at noon, before hosting Charlotte on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.

Tennis Match Results
Duke vs. Hawai'i
Jan. 9, 2013 at Honolulu, Hawai'i
(UH Tennis Complex)

No. 5 Duke 7, Hawai'i 0

1. #1 Henrique Cunha/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Jonathan Brooklyn/Dmytro Kovalyov (UH) 8-1
2. #39 Michael Redlicki/Jason Tahir (DU) def. Danilo Casanova/Chas Okamoto (UH) 8-2
3. #37 Fred Saba/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Jared Spiker/David Schuster (UH) 8-2

1. #11 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Dmytro Kovalyov (UH) 6-3, 6-0
2. #23 Fred Saba (DU) def. Jonathan Brooklyn (UH) 7-5, 6-3
3. #14 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Jared Spiker (UH) 6-3, 6-0
4. Chris Mengel (DU) def. Chas Okamoto (UH) 6-2, 6-0
5. #38 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Danilo Casanova (UH) 6-1, 6-4
6. #123 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Nils Schuhmann (UH) 6-1, 6-2
7. Josh Levine (DU) def. David Schuster (UH), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
8. Daniel McCall (DU) def. Carter Lam (UH), 6-1, 6-2

Match Notes:
Duke 1-0; National ranking #5; Regional ranking #2
Hawai`i 0-1