No. 24 Duke vs. Louisville
Saturday, January 27 l 3 p.m.
Fort Worth, Texas l Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center
DURHAM, N.C. – After a weekend away from competition, the No. 24 Duke men’s tennis team returns to action in Fort Worth, Texas, for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Blue Devils face Louisville at 3 p.m. Saturday and either host No. 10 TCU or San Diego on Sunday. The winner of the kick-off weekend advances to the ITA Team Indoor Championship, held in Seattle, February 16-18.
There will be no live stats or video of Saturday's match.
Louisville Series History
Duke has played Louisville in just three dual matches, claiming a 5-2 victory April 17, 2015, in Louisville’s first season in the ACC, a 5-2 win March 27, 2016, and a 4-3 triumph on April 21, 2017, to finish the regular season … This will be the first dual match outside of ACC competition … In their dual match singles careers against the Cardinals, Catalin Mateas and Ryan Dickerson are 2-0, Nicolas Alvarez is 1-1 and Spencer Furman, Robert Levine and Nick Stachowiak are 0-1 … In the fall at the Duke James Bonk Invite, Furman defeated George Hedley 6-4, 6-0 and freshman Sean Sculley topped Clement Filho in a walkover.
Scouting the Cardinals
Louisville is off to a 3-0 start on the young season … The Cardinals have gotten 3-0 singles performances from Parker Wynn, Nicolas Rouanet and Federico Gomez … Wynn is ranked No. 119 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll while No. 1 player Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff, who is 0-1 so far this spring, checks in 75th … In doubles, Morin-Kougoucheff and Wynn are the No. 6 tandem in the country and are 2-1 this spring.
TCU Series History
Duke owns an 11-5 advantage in the all-time series, but the programs have faced each other just once since 2010 … In the last meeting, the Blue Devils earned a 4-2 victory during the 2015 ITA Team Indoor Championship … Duke is 6-2 in Fort Worth, winning the last four road matches … TCU’s last home win was a 4-3 victory March 16, 2001 … Alvarez is the only current Blue Devil to have faced the Horned Frogs before as he defeated Cameron Norrie 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on court one to clinch the 2015 contest.
Scouting the Horned Frogs
TCU has begun the season with a 2-0 record, dropping just two singles matches and going unbeaten in doubles … The Horned Frogs have two top-35 players in No. 23 Alastair Gray and No. 31 Alex Rybakov … Gray is 10-2 overall this season, 2-2 versus ranked foes and 2-0 in dual matches … Rybakov has gone 6-2 overall, 2-1 against ranked opponents and 1-0 in dual competition … Trevor Johnson has played on the top two courts in dual matches, going 2-0 … The doubles pair of Gray and Johnson is 2-0 on court No. 1 so far this spring.
San Diego Series History
This would be the fourth meeting between the two, with the Blue Devils owning a 2-1 series advantage … Duke captured the first two matches, winning 8-1 in 1985 and 5-4 in 1993, both in San Diego … During the 2016 ITA Kick-Off Weekend, Duke dropped a 4-2 decision to the Toreros in the championship match … In their singles dual match careers versus San Diego, Alvarez is 0-1 and Mateas is 1-0.
Scouting the Toreros
San Diego enters the weekend 1-0 after sweeping defeating UC Irvine 7-0 last Friday … The Toreros, who have won the last four West Coast Conference titles, feature just two upperclassmen and five sophomores … Sophomore Gui Osorio played in the top position against UC Irvine with freshman August Holmgren on court two … In doubles, Osorio and sophomore Nico Borter teamed up on court one.
“The main goal, as always, is to get a little bit better every day,” head coach Ramsey Smith said. “In the spring we’re competing a lot more as a team. Individually we’re trying to get each guy better every single day. Resultwise, we have two main goals – we want to try and make it to Seattle for the final 16 of ITA National Team Indoors. We also want to put ourselves in position to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Team Championship. If we finish the year in the top 15, we’ll get a chance to do that.”
Duke in ITA Kick-Off Weekends
Saturday will mark the seventh time in eight seasons playing in an ITA Kick-Off Weekend … The lone miss during the stretch was in 2017 … The Blue Devils hosted six consecutive ITA Kick-Off Weekends from 2011-16 … From 2011-15, Duke swept the competition to advance to the ITA National Team Indoors … The Blue Devils are 11-2 overall in Kick-Off Weekend action, falling to San Diego in 2016 and Alabama in 2010, when the squad traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., and defeated Auburn before falling to the host Crimson Tide in the championship.
Looking for a Road Rebound
Duke finished the 2017 dual match season with a 3-7 road record … However, all seven of the team’s road losses came to foes ranked within the top 20 at the time of the matches … So far this season, Duke is 1-0 on the road, winning at Arizona State to begin the campaign.
Duke Remains No. 24 in ITA Poll and Three Appear in ITA Singles Rankings
The Blue Devils remained at No. 24 in this week’s Oracle/ITA poll … Duke has three ranked singles players, led by redshirt junior Alvarez at No. 48 ... Sophomore Furman is No. 81 while sophomore Levine is No. 90.
Excelling Against Nonconference Opponents
During the last four-plus years, Duke has gone 36-15 (.706 winning percentage) against nonconference opponents during the regular season … The Blue Devils have seven or more wins against nonconference foes in each of the last four years.
Last Time Out
For the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, the Duke men’s tennis team opened the dual match portion of the schedule with a victory ... The 25th-ranked Blue Devils welcomed Arizona State back to NCAA competition with a 5-2 triumph January 13 at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz., with Alvarez securing the match-winning point … Duke took an early lead, capturing the doubles point with victories by Dickerson and Jason Lapidus, on court two, and Alvarez and Furman on court three … Once in singles, the Sun Devils tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 victory by Makey Rakotomalala against Stachowiak on court four … ASU took the lead on Benjamin Hannestad’s 7-5, 6-3 win versus Mateas on court two … Duke answered with three consecutive singles wins to clinch the match … The march began on court five three with Furman downing Tim Ruehl 6-2, 6-2 on court three … Sculley gave Duke the lead back at 3-2 when he picked up a 6-3, 7-5 win against Andrea Bolla on court five … Alvarez secured the victory on court one, coming from behind to defeat Michael Geerts 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 … In the final match of the day, Dickerson fought back in three sets to defeat Will Kirkman 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) on court six.
Duke will host its first home matches of the season next weekend, welcoming No. 16 Illinois and Northwestern to Durham … The Blue Devils and Fighting Illini have first serve at 6 p.m. Friday, February 2, while Duke and Northwestern begin at 12 noon Sunday, February 4.