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Cunha Advances to Singles Semifinals at ITA Indoors
Thursday 11/04/2011  -  Duke Sports Information
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Courtesy: Duke Photography
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Henrique Cunha
FLUSHING, N.Y. - Two Blue Devils continued play Friday on the second day of competition at the 2011 ITA National Indoor Championships, with junior Henrique Cunha going 2-0 in singles action to advance to the tournament semifinals.

Fifteenth-ranked Cunha and sophomore Chris Mengel started off the day with a quarterfinal doubles match against second-seeded and third-ranked Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola of Ohio State. After trading games early on to make it 2-2, Buchanan and Rola surged ahead for a 7-5 lead. Cunha and Mengel held serve in the next game, but were unable to hold off the Buckeye duo, falling 8-6. The loss ended the Duke pair's run at the tournament, as Cunha and Mengel conclude the fall season with a ledger of 7-4 in doubles play.

The two players also continued singles action on Friday, with Cunha facing No. 14 Ryan Thacher of Stanford in the second round of the singles main draw. Cunha, who is ranked fourth in the nation and earned the tournament's No. 5 seed, dropped the first set to Thacher, 2-6. However, the Jaú, Brazil native fought back to win the next two frames by scores of 6-4 and 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.

In his second singles match of the day, Cunha faced No. 8 Evan King of Michigan. The Duke junior defeated King in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to move on to Saturday's semifinal round, where he will face top-seeded Mitchell Frank of Virginia in a 2 p.m. match.  

Following a 6-1, 7-6 (2) loss to No. 31 Christopher Aumueller of Nebraska in Thursday's first round, No. 49 Mengel moved to the consolation singles bracket. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native drew a meeting with No. 70 Andreas Mies of Auburn, who suffered a 6-1, 6-1 setback to Cunha on Thursday. Mies took the first set, 6-3, before Mengel toughed out a 7-6 (4) victory in the second frame. The players were knotted at 5-5 in the deciding set before the Duke sophomore broke Mies for a 7-5 win. Mengel will now face sixth-ranked Will Spencer of Georgia at 11 a.m. in Saturday's consolation quarterfinal round.


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