URBANA, Ill. – Senior Henrique Cunha and freshman Michael Redlicki of the Duke men’s tennis team advanced to the singles round of 32, as the NCAA Individual Championships kicked-off Wednesday at the Kahn Outdoor Tennis Center.
Cunha advanced to the second round for the fourth consecutive season with a 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over No. 59 Enej Bonin of Denver. Bonin opened the match with two straight breaks at 4-0, before Cunha responded with two breaks of his own to get the match back on serve at 4-3. The set ultimately was decided by Cunha in a tiebreak, 7-6 (2). In the second set, Cunha won an early break at 3-1 and cruised to a 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory to earn his 32nd win of the season, including his 15th over a ranked opponent.
Cunha’s first-round victory sets up a second-round meeting with Jared Hiltzik of Illinois Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.
In a thrilling three-set match, Redlicki advanced to the second-round after upsetting Kentucky’s 23rd-ranked Tom Jomby, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-1. Redlicki was able to break Jomby’s serve in the first game of the match, but the lead was short-lived, as Jomby was able to get the match back on serve at 3-3. The first set was ultimately decided in a tiebreak, where Redlicki was able to edge Jomby, 7-6 (4). The second set remained on serve throughout and went to a tiebreak, before Jomby forced a decisive third set, 6-7 (6). Redlicki, a 2013 All-ACC selection, went up a break at 2-1 and cruised to his 31st win of the season, taking the third set, 6-1.
Redlicki will face No. 25 Marcos Giron of UCLA in Thursday’s second-round at 10 a.m. ET.
Junior Fred Saba was also in action in Wednesday’s first round. A product of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saba, listed 46th in the latest ITA rankings, fell in straight sets to seventh-seeded Peter Kobelt of Ohio State, 6-3, 6-2. Saba concludes his season with a 26-11 singles ledger for the season
The 2012 NCAA Doubles Championships get underway Thursday, with 2nd-seeded Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler taking the courts against No. 12 Kobelt and Connor Smith of Ohio State. Sophomore Jason Tahir and Redlicki will face top-seed Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee.
2013 NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships
May 22-27, 2013 at Urbana, Ill. (Kahn Outdoor Tennis Center)
Singles – First Round
No. 9 Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. No. 59 Enej Bonin (Denver), 7-6 (2), 6-2
No. 46 Michael Redlicki (Duke) vs. No. 23 Tom Jomby (Kentucky), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-1
No. 8 Peter Kobelt (Ohio State) def. No. 43 Fred Saba (Duke), 6-3, 6-2