DURHAM, NC – Senior Henrique Cunha became the program’s all-time leader in career doubles wins Sunday, as the fifth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team defeated Charlotte, 9-0, at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The Blue Devils move to 3-0 on the spring with the win.
“It was a great first home weekend for us, I thought we played well again today,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “This will give us a lot of confidence going into the ITA Kick-Off in a couple of days.”
For the second consecutive day, the Blue Devils overwhelmed their opponents in doubles. The top-ranked pair of Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler continued their impressive play, collecting their 11th consecutive victory dating back to the fall with an 8-2 decision over Jack Williams and Forrest Edwards of Charlotte. With the win, Cunha passed Doug Root to sit atop the program chart for most career doubles wins in a career at 122.
“It is just numbers,” Cunha said of the record. “I prefer to just stay focused on the courts and to keep doing my job. Rafa [Hemmeler] and I are playing well. I think we have a chance to have a very good season if we continue to do well.”
On court two, freshman Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir defeated Charlotte’s Alex Calott and Paul Cisti, 8-2, to clinch the doubles point for the Blue Devils, while the duo of juniors Chris Mengel and Fred Saba completed the sweep with an 8-2 victory over Jordi Massalle Ferrer and Krzysztof Kwasniewicz.
In singles, 38th-ranked Hemmeler earned the first singles point of the match for the second consecutive day as he defeated Paul Cisti in the No. 5 position, 6-1, 6-2. Cunha, who became program’s all-time leader in singles victories in the fall, downed Jack Williams in the No. 1 position, 6-0, 6-0. The Jaú, Brazil native, has won 18 consecutive games over the past two days.
Playing in the No. 2 position for first time in his collegiate career, Redlicki overpowered Forrest Edwards, 6-2, 6-2, to earn his third consecutive victory in a dual match, while moments later Mengel clinched the match for Duke with his 6-4, 6-2 decision over Calott at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
“Mike played really well,” Smith said. “He is working on being aggressive, using his size and trying to dictate a little more. He did that in doubles and singles this weekend. It’s a really good start for him. It is key for freshmen to get wins early and get confidence in dual matches. He is looking really good.”
After staying on serve until 3-3 in his match on court six, Tahir was able to pull away from Charlotte’s Kwasniewicz by winning the final nine games of the match to clinch a 6-3, 6-0 decision. After pulling out a thrilling three-set victory on Saturday over Elon’s Stefan Fortmann, Saba won his match over Massalle Ferrer, 6-2, 6-3, in the No. 3 slot.
With Duke and Charlotte playing a rare best-of-nine contest, McCall clinched his fifth consecutive singles match over Hector Linares, 6-1, 6-0, at the No. 8 spot while Levine defeated Linares, 6-2, 6-4, in the No. 7 singles match.
Up next, the Blue Devils will serve as one of 15 host sites for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Jan. 25-27. Duke will play Middle Tennessee State Friday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. The winner of that match will then face the winner of Virginia Tech and Northwestern match in a championship on Saturday at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to the ITA National Team Indoors Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash.
Tennis Match Results
Charlotte vs Duke
Jan 20, 2013 at Durham, NC
(Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center)
#5 Duke 9, Charlotte 0
1. #1 Henrique Cunha/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Jack Williams/Forrest Edwards (CHA) 8-2
2. #39 Michael Redlicki/Jason Tahir (DU) def. Alex Calott/Paul Cisti (CHA) 8-2
3. #37 Fred Saba/Chris Mengel (DU) def. J. Massallé Ferrer/Krysztof Kwasniewicz (CHA) 8-2
1. #11 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Jack Williams (CHA) 6-0, 6-0
2. #14 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Forrest Edwards (CHA) 6-2, 6-2
3. #23 Fred Saba (DU) def. J. Massallé Ferrer (CHA) 6-2, 6-3
4. #46 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Alex Calott (CHA) 6-4, 6-2
5. #38 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Paul Cisti (CHA) 6-1, 6-2
6. #123 Jason Tahir (DU) def. Krysztof Kwasniewicz (CHA) 6-3, 6-0
7. Josh Levine (DU) def. Nate Shanok (CHA) 6-2, 6-4
8. Daniel McCall (DU) def. Hector Linares (CHA) 6-1, 6-0
Duke 3-0; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,1,2,4,6,3,8)
Coaches agreed before the match to play 7 and 8 singles.