LAST TIME OUT: Duke played past the midnight hour in the central time zone and upset eighth-seed Kentucky, 4-2, Thursday night in the Round of 16. Despite dropping the doubles point for the fifth time this season, the Blue Devils came out strong in singles, winning five-of-six first sets. Senior Henrique Cunha gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the match with a 7-5, 6-4 win on court one. Raphael Hemmeler sealed the match for Duke at the No. 5 position with a thrilling 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Grant Roberts.
DUKE IN THE NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Blue Devils now own a 45-22 all-time record in the NCAA Championships and has recorded 22 consecutive appearances, winning at least one match in each appearance. As a team, Duke will play in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and the eighth time in the program’s history. Throughout the season, the Blue Devils have notched a 2-2 record against teams in the quarterfinals, including wins over Tennessee and Pepperdine.
HEY, I KNOW YOU: Blue Devil freshman Michael Redlicki and UCLA sophomore Dennis Novikov were doubles partners this past summer in the US Open, advancing to the second round of the tournament.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS: The top-seeded Bruins advanced to the round of eight after sweeping 16th-seed Vanderbilt, 4-0, Thursday night. UCLA boasts five ranked players in doubles, led by No. 22 Adrien Puget. Other players in the most recent ITA singles rankings include No. 25 Marcos Giron, No. 27 Dennis Novikov, No. 75 Dennis Mkrtchian and No. 119 Clay Thompson. In doubles, UCLA has two ranked tandems, including No. 42 Giron and Novikov, as well as No. 77 Puget and Karue Sell.
AGAINST UCLA: Duke and UCLA will meet for the 18th time in the programs’ history when they square off in the 2013 NCAA Championship Quarterfinals Saturday, with UCLA leading in the all-time series, 14-3. The two schools have faced each other one previous time in the round of eight, with UCLA winning that match-up, 4-2, on May 18, 1997. The Blue Devils won the previous meeting, 4-2, February 17, 2012 in the ITA National Indoors.
WITH A WIN AGANST THE BRUINS: With a win Saturday over the Bruins, Duke will advance to the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships for the first time in the program’s history.