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Junior Henrique Cunha
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Junior Henrique Cunha
Blue Devils to Open ITA Indoors Against No. 8 UCLA
Sunday 02/16/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. - The 10th-ranked Duke men's tennis team will put its 7-0 record to the test this weekend at the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. The Blue Devils are set to face No. 8 UCLA in Friday's opening round at The Boar's Head Sports Club.

Duke earned one of 15 automatic bids to the tournament with a 6-0 victory over No. 47 VCU and a 4-0 defeat of No. 26 Washington in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Durham regional two weeks ago. The squad enters the weekend undefeated on the spring and off to the program's best start since the 1954-55 season.

The Blue Devils will open the four-day tournament on Friday with a 3:30 p.m. matchup against the eighth-ranked Bruins. UCLA (7-0) qualified for the ITA Team Indoors with a pair of 4-0 victories over No. 59 Alabama and No. 35 Fresno State.

The last meeting between the two programs came during the 2009-10 season, with the Bruins coming out on top in a close 4-3 decision in Los Angeles. UCLA leads the overall series, 14-2.

At last year's ITA Team Indoors, Duke upset No. 2 USC and defeated No. 11 Florida before falling to third-ranked Tennessee in the tournament semifinals.

The opening round match between the Blue Devils and UCLA will feature several ranked players. Duke's singles lineup includes No. 2 Henrique Cunha and No. 17 Chris Mengel, while Cunha and sophomore Fred Saba are ranked 13th in doubles. Cunha was named the ACC Player of the Week for the fourth consecutive week after picking up his 20th singles victory of the year in last weekend's 6-1 win over No. 20 Tennessee. He and Mengel both own perfect 6-0 records in dual match singles play this spring. Meanwhile, Cunha and Saba have combined for a 4-0 mark from the No. 1 doubles position in dual match play and are 7-0 overall on the season.

The Bruins have four players ranked in singles - No. 39 Nick Meister, No. 70 Clay Thompson, No. 104 Adrien Puget and No. 108 Marcos Giron.

Live stats will be available for all of this weekend's matches at www.virginiasports.com. For more information about the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, visit the tournament homepage at www.itatennis.com.

-d-u-k-e-


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