KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Playing on the road for the first time this season, the 13th-ranked Blue Devils fell short in a rally bid at No. 14 Tennessee, falling by a 4-2 score.
Duke (4-3) faced an uphill battle after surrendering the doubles point to the Volunteers (8-1). Sophomore Michael Redlicki and junior Jason Tahir dropped a 6-3 decision to the nation’s top-ranked doubles pair of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Resse on court one. In the No. 2 contest, the duo of senior Fred Saba and sophomore Bruno Semenzato fell to No. 28 Brandon Fickey and Jarryd Chaplin of Tennessee, 6-4.
After the two teams split first sets in singles, Redlicki, the 29th-ranked player in the country, evened up at the match score at 1-1 with a solid 6-1, 6-2 defeat of No. 34 Libietis on court one. With the win, the Duke sophomore moved to 10-5 on the season.
Fifty-second ranked Tahir followed suit with a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Tennessee’s Brandon Fickey, improving to 3-0 at the No. 3 spot in the lineup. However, the Volunteers responded with a win on court six, where 77th-ranked Josh Levine fell to Kerner, 6-3, 6-4, for just his second loss in dual match singles play.
Hemmeler suffered a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 setback to Tennessee’s Dromsky on court five to bring the match decision down to courts two and four. In the No. 4 contest, 95th-ranked Semenzato battled back from a first-set loss to take the second set against Chaplin, 6-4. Despite the momentum shift, Chaplin broke Semenzato’s serve late in the third set to clinch the match.
Saba was leading No. 16 Reese in a decisive set on court two when the match was abandoned.
The Blue Devils continue a tough road swing Sunday, Feb. 9, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the 31st-ranked Wolverines at 12 p.m. Live video and live scoring will be available at mgoblue.com.
#14 Tennessee 4, #13 Duke 2
Feb 07, 2014 at Knoxville, Tenn. (Goodfriend Tennis Center)
1. #1 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. Michael Redlicki/Jason Tahir (DUKE) 6-3
2. #28 Brandon Fickey/Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Fred Saba/Bruno Semenzato (DUKE) 6-4
3. Markus Kerner/Andrew Dromsky (UT) vs. Daniel McCall/Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) 5-4, unfinished
1. #29 Michael Redlicki (DUKE) def. #34 Mikelis Libietis (UT) 6-1, 6-2
2. #16 Hunter Reese (UT) vs. Fred Saba (DUKE) 3-6, 6-4, 4-5, unfinished
3. #52 Jason Tahir (DUKE) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-2, 6-2
4. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. #95 Bruno Semenzato (DUKE) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
5. Andrew Dromsky (UT) def. Raphael Hemmeler (DUKE) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. Markus Kerner (UT) def. #77 Josh Levine (DUKE) 6-3, 6-4
Duke 4-2; National ranking #13
Tennessee 7-1; National ranking #14
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,3,6,5,4)