STANFORD, Calif. - Duke's Henrique Cunha and Reid Carleton had impressive showings for the Blue Devils on the second day of the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in Stanford, Calif.
Cunha, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, advanced to the round of 16 in the singles bracket with a quick victory over No. 59 Luka Somen of Virginia Tech. Cunha was able to jump out to a fast start with two breaks in the first set to take a 4-0 lead. After the two players exchanged points to make it 5-1, Cunha broke serve for the third time to win the first set 6-1. The second set was all Cunha as well as he broke twice on his way to a 5-0 lead before closing out the match with a 6-1 second-set victory.
With the win in the round of 32, Cunha becomes just the fourth Duke player to make the round of 16 in the NCAA singles championships twice. The only players to accomplish the feat were Chris Pressley (1994 and 1995), Andres Pedroso (2000 and 2001) and Phillip King (2001 and 2004). Cunha will face No. 15 Dennis Nevolo of Illinois on Friday. The two players met earlier this season with the match going unfinished in Illinois' 4-2 victory over Duke.
Cunha has won 36 singles matches this season. He is now tied for second on Duke's single season wins list with Andres Pedroso (2000-01) and Ludovic Walter (2003-04). Cunha owns the school record of 39 victories as a freshman last year.
Thursday was the opening day for the doubles championships. Duke's No. 7 Carleton and Cunha opened with a tough match against the brothers' tandem and 10th-ranked team in the country, Christoph and Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss. The Thiemann brothers were able to break twice to take the first set 6-3, but the two Blue Devils turned the table to take the second set 6-3.
Carleton and Cunha broke to take a 3-2 lead in the third set and would have two chances to put the match away. Serving for the match at 5-4, Duke had one match point but eventually the Thiemanns were able to even the score at 5-5 on their fifth break point chance. With the help of three double faults, Carleton and Cunha were able to break back for a 6-5 lead but could not hold on their second chance to serve out the match. The third set ended up going to a tiebreaker and after Ole Miss won the first point it was all Blue Devils as Carleton and Cunha won seven of the next eight points to advance to the round of 16.
On Friday Carleton and Cunha will face another top 10 opponent as No. 9 Jean Anderson and Ed Corrie of Texas won 6-3, 6-3 in the first round. The Duke pair is now 37-6 on the season with 14 wins over ranked opponents.
All matches will take place at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Live scoring and video is available at http://www.streamingtennis.com/Cardinal/livescoreboard1.html.