CLEMSON, S.C. – The No. 43 Duke men’s tennis team got back on the winning track Sunday at Clemson with a 5-2 victory inside the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center. The triumph was head coach Ramsey Smith’s 175th of his career, the third most in Duke history.
Clinching the match for Duke, which has won nine of the last 10 against Clemson, was sophomore Catalin Mateas, who went 3-1 during the weekend with two singles and one doubles victory. The Sunday triumph also pushed the Blue Devils above .500 in ACC play with a 5-4 record. Duke finished the 2016 campaign with only four league victories.
Duke (12-8) captured the doubles point with a comeback effort on court two finishing the point. The Blue Devils took the first decision on court three, where senior TJ Pura and Mateas picked up a 6-2 victory against Arturo Pinazo and Brent Lett. Pura and Mateas jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the set and split the final four games to secure the match. The duo improves to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in league action.
Clemson (8-13) evened the doubles action on court one, where No. 82 Sam Edwards and Daffra Sanon topped No. 81 Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman 6-4. Furman and Stachowiak fell into a 2-0 hole to start the match and were never able to tie the set. The two Duke freshmen got it to a one-game deficit four times, but never broke even. The loss is just the second for Stachowiak and Furman, who fall to 16-2 overall and 4-2 against ACC foes.
A comeback performance from sophomores Ryan Dickerson and Jason Lapidus allowed Duke to finish off the point as the Blue Devils topped Alex Favrot and Robert Dudley 7-6 (5) on court two. It is the second straight match Dickerson and Lapidus have been involved in a tiebreaker that determined the doubles point. The Duke pair led 2-1 before trailing 4-2. The two answered with three straight games to take a 5-4 lead, but Clemson replied and knotted the set at 5-5. The two teams split the last two games and headed to the tiebreaker, which the Blue Devils led 4-3 and held on for the victory. Dickerson and Lapidus bump up to 7-5 overall and 3-5 in ACC play.
Dickerson kept the momentum rolling into singles with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Carlos Kelaidis on court six to make it a 2-0 overall Duke lead. Dickerson improves to 18-6 overall and 6-3 against conference opponents.
Clemson immediately answered and made it a 2-1 score as Favrot topped freshman Robert Levine 6-2, 6-1 on court two. Favrot hopped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set and led 4-1 and 5-2 before finishing it off. The second set had Favrot lead 3-1 and hold on for the win. Levine drops to 17-14 and 0-3 in ACC matches.
Pura pushed Duke to the brink of clinching with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph against Lett on court five. Pura remains unbeaten in league action at 8-0 and is 25-9 overall.
The Tigers responded again and cut the deficit to one at 3-2 when Sanon topped No. 72 Furman 6-3, 6-4 on court one. The opening set was even at 1-1 before Sanon went on a three-game run to take a 4-1 lead. Furman got a game back for a 4-2 deficit, but Sanon won two of the final three games. In the second set, Furman led 2-1 before trailing 3-2. Furman answered with consecutive wins to lead 4-3, but Sanon answered with the final three games for the match. Furman is now 19-8 overall and 5-4 in ACC action.
Mateas clinched the match for Duke with a 6-3, 7-5 triumph against Edwards on court three. Mateas, ranked No. 102 this week, fell behind 3-0 in the first set before winning six straight games. The second set had Edwards lead 2-0 before Mateas evened the set at 2-2. Mateas won three of the next four games to go up 5-3, but Edwards rallied with consecutive games to tie the set at 5-5. Mateas answered with the final two games for the match. Mateas lifts his record to 21-12 overall and 5-3 in league competition.
Stachowiak rounded out the victory with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 triumph on court four against Dudley. Stachowiak took a 4-0 lead in the opening set before splitting the last four games to take the set. In the second set, Stachowiak trailed 3-1 before taking three-straight games to go ahead 4-3. Dudley answered to knot the set at 5-5 and then took the last two games. Stachowiak rallied and rolled through the third set for the win. Stachowiak improves to 28-10 and 4-5 versus ACC opponents. His 28 singles wins are two shy of a place on the Blue Devil freshman top-10 list.
Duke returns home for its final weekend in Durham of the regular season. The Blue Devils host Notre Dame at 3 p.m. Friday and Miami at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Saturday contest against the Hurricanes will serve as Senior Day for Pura.
No. 43 Duke 5, Clemson 2
April 9, 2017 at Clemson, S.C. (Hoke Sloan Tennis Center)
1. #82 Sam Edwards/Daffra Sanon (CU) def. #81 Spencer Furman/Nick Stachowiak (DU) 6-4
2. Ryan Dickerson/Jason Lapidus (DU) def. Alex Favrot/Robert Dudley (CU) 7-6 (7-5)
3. Catalin Mateas/TJ Pura (DU) def. Arturo Pinazo/Brent Lett (CU) 6-2
1. Daffra Sanon (CU) def. #72 Spencer Furman (DU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Alex Favrot (CU) def. Robert Levine (DU) 6-2, 6-1
3. #102 Catalin Mateas (DU) def. Sam Edwards (CU) 6-3, 7-5
4. Nick Stachowiak (DU) def. Robert Dudley (CU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
5. TJ Pura (DU) def. Brent Lett (CU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Ryan Dickerson (DU) def. Carlos Kelaidis (CU) 6-0, 6-1
Duke 12-8 (5-4 ACC); National ranking #43
Clemson University 8-13 (1-8 ACC)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,2,5,1,3,4)