DURHAM, N.C. – Freshman Bruno Semenzato picked up the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) singles and doubles wins of his career, as the No. 10 Duke men’s tennis team swept Boston College, 7-0, Friday afternoon at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The match was moved indoors due to the threat of inclement weather in the area. The Blue Devils improve to 20-4 on the season and 8-1 in the conference.
“It was a really solid effort from everybody,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “I thought we were prepared and had a really good week of practice. Everybody was firing on all cylinders. We are peaking at the right time and playing some of our best tennis of the entire spring.”
The Blue Devils came out strong in doubles, going up a break in the first service game over the Eagles (5-13, 0-9) at all three positions. The 17th-ranked tandem of freshman Michael Redlicki and sophomore Jason Tahir claimed the first match of the day at the No. 2 position. The duo won the first six games of the match, before the Boston College team of Matt Wagner and Kyle Childree held serve to take their first game. Redlicki and Tahir went on to claim the match, 8-1.
The junior team of Chris Mengel and Fred Saba clinched the opening point for Duke, defeating Billy Grokenberger and Klaus Puestow, 8-2. Saba and Mengel went up a break in the first game in the match and never looked back, coasting to their 22nd victory of the season.
Duke completed the sweep after the Brazilian tandem of senior Henrique Cunha and Semenzato captured an 8-4 win over Philip Nelson and Michael McGinnis on court one. Cunha remains undefeated in ACC play in doubles, with an 8-0 record. The match was the first of the season to feature the two Brazil products on the same court.
“I was waiting for this opportunity to play with him [Cunha] here at Duke,” Semenzato said. “I try to use [Cunha] as an example, because he is the greatest to ever play at this school. It is a pleasure to have him as a friend and a leader.”
In singles, freshman Josh Levine went up an early break to take a 3-2 advantage, as he downed Alexandre Thirouin at the sixth position, 6-3, 6-1. The rookie picks up his 18th win of the season and second in conference play. Moments later, Tahir gave Duke a commanding 3-0 lead, as he downed Childree, 6-2, 6-1.
Playing at the top spot for the fifth time this season, Saba claimed the first break to take a 2-1 lead in the first set, as the junior overwhelmed Nelson, 6-2, 6-2. The win clinched Duke’s fourth consecutive 20-win season and marks Saba’s 25th victory of the year, including his eighth in conference action.
“I have been working hard, just trying to get better on the practice court,” Saba said. “I thought I was able to serve really well today, which helped me get a bunch of free points. I was able to play some long points and I caught some good breaks when I needed too.”
Playing the No. 3 position for the second time this season, Mengel cruised to victory over Grokenberger, 6-0, 6-3, while Redlicki defeated McGinnis at the second position, 6-1, 6-1. Semenzato completed the sweep for Duke, as he picked up the first ACC win of his career over Wagner at No. 5, 6-3, 6-3.
“I have been working hard and waiting for this chance to play,” said Semenzato. “I thought I was solid from the beginning, taking advantage of my opportunities. It was a good win for me.”
Up next, Duke will conclude its regular season schedule by hosting N.C. State Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. at Ambler Tennis Stadium. Cunha, the squad’s lone senior, will be honored immediately following the conclusion of the doubles point as part of Senior Day.
“We are looking forward to a really good match with N.C. State,” Smith said. “They have had a really good year and a good ACC season so far. They are a really feisty team. We are going to be sure we recover and are ready for a battle on Sunday.”
Tennis Match Results
Boston College vs Duke
Apr 19, 2013 at Durham, N.C.
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#10 Duke 7, Boston College 0
1. #32 Fred Saba (DU) def. Philip Nelson (BC) 6-2, 6-2
2. #47 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Michael McGinnis (BC) 6-1, 6-1
3. #99 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Billy Grokenberger (BC) 6-0, 6-3
4. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Kyle Childree (BC) 6-2, 6-1
5. Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Matt Wagner (BC) 6-3, 6-3
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Alexandre Thirouin (BC) 6-3, 6-1
1. Henrique Cunha/Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Philip Nelson/Michael McGinnis (BC) 8-4
2. #17 Jason Tahir/Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Matt Wagner/Kyle Childree (BC) 8-1
3. #60 Chris Mengel/Fred Saba (DU) def. Billy Grokenberger/Klaus Puestow (BC) 8-2
Boston College 5-14
Duke 20-4; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,4,1,3,2,5)
Match moved indoors due to inclement weather