GREENSBORO, N.C. – After taking down the No. 1 player in the country in straight sets on Saturday, Blue Devil men’s tennis redshirt junior Nicolas Alvarez was named the ACC Player of the Week. It is the second league weekly honor for Duke this season as sophomore Nick Stachowiak was tabbed February 27.
For Alvarez, the ACC Player of the Week Award is the fourth of his career and first since February 23, 2016.
On Saturday, Alvarez gave Duke a 2-1 lead against No. 8 North Carolina with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against the Tar Heels’ William Blumberg. Alvarez used an early break to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set, but Blumberg responded to knot the match at 3-3. From there, Alvarez held, broke and held to secure the set. In the second set, Alvarez again used a break to take a 3-1 lead only to have Blumberg tie the set at 3-3. Alvarez broke and held to go up 5-3. Blumberg got a game back to trail 5-4, but Alvarez served out for the victory.
The victory for Alvarez was the fifth of his career against a top-10 opponent and the first in a dual match since downing No. 10 Julian Lenz of Baylor 6-4, 6-2 on February 13, 2015. It was the first time a Blue Devil upended the nation’s top player since Jason Tahir downed Sebastian Stiefelmeyer of Louisville 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 on January 8, 2015. It was Duke’s first win in a dual match against a No. 1 opponent since Fred Saba upset Virginia’s Alex Domijan 7-5, 7-5 on March 22, 2013.
With the win, Alvarez remained unbeaten in dual matches at 6-0 and improved to 11-2 overall and 4-1 versus nationally ranked opponents. He has won his last four contests against top-51 foes.
Tuesday the team is back in action against TCU at the United States Tennis Association National Campus. The Blue Devils, ranked 17th in the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, then return to North Carolina and ACC play with a 4 p.m. Friday match at No. 16 N.C. State.