ORLANDO, Fla. – The Duke men’s tennis team posted 12 victories during the first day of competition Friday at the United States Tennis Association Clay Court Invitational at Disney, hosted by Florida State at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Juniors Fred Saba and Chris Mengel each earned their 10th singles victory of the fall campaign in the first round of the gold singles draw as top-seeded Mengel cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Florida’s Billy Federhofer and Saba outlasted USTA junior Deiton Baughman in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. After dropping his first set, freshman Michael Redlicki rallied to defeat USTA junior Roy Lederman in a decisive third set, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, while sophomore Jason Tahir earned a 6-3, 7-6 (4)win over Penn State’s Bryan Welnetz.
In the round of 16, Mengel defeated USTA junior Ronnie Schneider in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. He will face Kentucky’s Juan Pablo Murra in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Saba advanced to the quarterfinal round by edging Dominic Cotrone in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product will now face second-seeded Yannick Hanfmann of Southern California in the quarterfinals. Redlicki earned his 10th victory of the fall season by easing past Kentucky’s Tom Jomby, 7-6 (8), 6-7 (5), 6-2. He will take on Chris Konigsfeldt in the quarterfinals, while Tahir will play USC’s Robert Quiroz in the quarterfinals after cruising past Colorado’s Dragos Ignat, 6-0, 6-2.
In the garnet singles draw, freshman Josh Levine posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory against Georgia Tech’s Eduardo Segura, while fellow rookie Daniel McCall fell to USTA junior Ryan Smith 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the spear singles draw. Levine will face David Orces of The Citadel in the quarterfinals, while McCall will take on Georgia Tech’s Anish Sharma in the consolation draw.
As a team, the Blue Devils won 24 of the 30 games they played in doubles. In the gold doubles draw, the duo of Mengel and Saba improved their record to 6-1 for the fall after cruising to an 8-2 victory against USTA juniors Baughman and Martin Redlicki, the younger brother of Duke’s Michael Redlicki. Meanwhile, Redlicki and Tahir defeated 28th-ranked Russell Bader and Roman Trkulja of Penn State, 8-2. Mengel and Saba will face the Kentucky pair of Tom Jomby and Kai-Wen Lai in the quarterfinals, while Redlicki and Tahir will take on Max de Vroome and Michael Grant of Southern California.
The freshmen pair of McCall and Levine downed USTA juniors Smith and Chase Perez-Blanco, 8-2, in the garnet doubles draw. They will face João Gauer and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez of Florida State in the quarterfinals.
Two rounds of singles and one round of doubles are scheduled to be played Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m.