ROCK HILL, S.C. – Members of the Duke men’s tennis team captured four singles titles on the final day of competition at the Winthrop Invitational, hosted by the Eagles at the Rock Hill Tennis Center. The successful day of singles action came on the heels of a strong doubles showing Saturday, when the Blue Devils won two doubles crowns.
Due to inclement weather in the area Friday and Saturday, the Division 1 and Division 2 singles draws were divided into four brackets.
Sophomore Josh Levine started off the day by cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over East Tennessee State’s Richardo Pabon in the Division 1A quarterfinals. He then outlasted Markus Schultz of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the semifinals, 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (3) before claiming the title with a 7-5, 6-0 defeat of East Tennessee State’s Sebastian Yllera. With the four singles wins on the weekend, Levine improved his fall ledger to an impressive 13-3 mark.
Redshirt junior Cale Hammond followed suit in the Division 1B draw, battling to a pair of third-set tiebreaker wins after topping Conner Huertas Del Pino of East Tennessee State in the quarterfinals. The Tulsa, Okla., native rebounded from a first-set loss in both the semifinals and final, recording a 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10) victory against Presbyterian’s Grayson Mills for the bracket title. Hammond is now 12-4 overall in singles play after earning his second singles crown of the fall.
The final day of action in the Division 2A bracket saw freshman TJ Pura claim the first singles title of his collegiate career. After recording a 6-4, 6-0 decision against Rafael Berghaus of Presbyterian in the quarterfinals, Pura dispatched Winthrop’s Peter Nagovnak 6-1, 6-1 to reach the title match. He then rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Zach Bost of Appalachian State, improving his tournament record to 11-5 overall.
Sophomore Daniel McCall closed out the day on a strong note, downing UNC Greensboro’s Cameron Smith 6-1, 6-0 in the Division 2B final to garner the first singles title of his Duke career. The San Francisco, Calif., native also posted a pair of 6-4, 6-1 wins over UAB’s Matthew Hill and UNC Asheville’s Brett Landau in the quarterfinals and semifinals. With the 4-0 performance this weekend, McCall now owns a singles record of 9-7.
The Blue Devil duos of Pura and Levine and Hammond and McCall were named co-champions of the Division 1 doubles bracket Saturday, giving Duke six titles for the weekend. As a squad, the Blue Devils also combined for an outstanding 22-0 ledger in singles and doubles play heading into the final tournament of the fall season.
Duke will wrap up fall tournament play next weekend when it sends representatives to the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic Nov. 8-10 in Bradenton, Fla.
Division 1A Singles Main Draw
Quarterfinals: Josh Levine (Duke) def. Richardo Pabon (ETSU) 6-1, 6-2
Semifinals: Josh Levine (Duke) def. Markus Schultz (NJIT) 6-7, 6-3, 1-0 (3)
Final: Josh Levine (Duke) def. Sebastian Yllera (ETSU) 7-5, 6-0
Division 1B Singles Main Draw
Quarterfinals: Cale Hammond (Duke) def. Conner Huertas Del Pino (ETSU) 6-1, 6-3
Semifinals: Cale Hammond (Duke) def. Tobi Menhofer (Kennesaw State) 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 (1)
Final: Cale Hammond (Duke) def. Grayson Mills (Presbyterian) 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10)
Division 2A Singles Main Draw
Quarterfinals: TJ Pura (Duke) def. Rafael Berghaus (Presbyterian) 6-4, 6-0
Semfinals: TJ Pura (Duke) def. Peter Nagovnak (Winthrop) 6-1, 6-1
Final: TJ Pura (Duke) def. Zach Bost (Appalachian State) 6-1, 6-2
Division 2B Singles Main Draw
Quarterfinals: Daniel McCall (Duke) def. Matthew Hill (UAB) 6-4, 6-1
Semifinals: Daniel McCall (Duke) def. Brett Landau (UNCA) 6-4, 6-1
Final: Daniel McCall (Duke) def. Cameron Smith (UNCG) 6-1, 6-0