CARY, N.C. – The Duke’s men’s tennis team opened its 2013 campaign Friday, Sept. 13, at the Duke Fab Four Invitational in Cary, N.C. The Blue Devils fielded four doubles teams and eight individual competitors on the first day of action at the annual tournament, held at the Cary Tennis Park.
Duke opened the tournament on a strong note as sophomore Bruno Semenzato and freshman TJ Pura advanced to the finals of the white doubles draw. The top-seeded tandem defeated Elon’s Jordan Kaufman and Brian Kowalski, 8-4, in the first round. In the second round, the pair upended Wake Forest’s Nicky Kunz and Nicholas Osterline, 8-5, to reach the finals, where they will face VCU’s Wilder Pimentel and Michal Voscek Saturday.
In the black draw, Duke’s team of redshirt junior Cale Hammond and sophomore Josh Levine will face off against VCU’s Alejandro Argente and Jean Baptiste Mateo in the third-place consolation match after a first round 8-6 loss at the hands of Radford duo Nicholas Sayer and Patrick O’Keefe. Hammond and Levine returned to action Friday afternoon against William & Mary’s John Banks and Ben Hoogland in the consolation semifinals match, ultimately falling to the Tribe in a tough 8-5 decision.
In the same draw, the tandem of senior Fred Saba and junior Raphael Hemmeler started their 2013 season with an 8-5 victory over Louisville’s Chris Simich and Albert Wagner. The Duke duo then faced NC State’s Robbie Mudge and Sean Weber in the second round, falling by a score of 8-3. Saba and Hemmeler will compete against Radford’s Sayer and O’Keefe for third place in the men’s doubles black draw.
In the blue draw, the team of sophomores Daniel McCall and Michael Redlicki reached the consolation finals after falling, 8-4, to Louisville’s Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Van Damrongsri in the first round. The pair rebounded with an 8-6 win over William and Mary’s Aaron Chaffee and Will Juggins, setting up a consolation final matchup Saturday with South Florida’s Sasha Gozun and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy.
The Blue Devils compiled a 6-2 record in the first round of singles play Friday afternoon, with Semenzato, Saba, Hemmeler, Levine, Redlicki and Daniel McCall all posting first-round victories.
Saba, ranked 26th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason singles poll, defeated South Florida’s Vadym Kalyuzhnyy 6-4, 6-2 to advance in the black draw, while Levine overcame William and Mary’s Ben Hoogland 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Pura suffered a 6-3, 6-4 setback to the Tribe's Aaron Chaffee, moving him to the back draw of the black bracket.
In the blue singles draw, Semenzato edged fourth-seeded Wagner of Louisville by scores of 7-6 (6), 6-3 to earn a meeting with NC State's Beck Bond in Saturday's quarterfinals. Second-seeded and 49th-ranked Hemmeler also advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Wake Forest's Anthony Delcore, while Hammond fell to Louisville's Damrongsri, 6-2, 6-1.
The opening round of play in the white singles draw saw No. 22 Redlicki battle back from a tough first set to defeat Oliver Pramming of South Florida, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, and McCall down Sayer of Richmond, 6-1, 6-3.
The Duke Fab Four Invitational resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in Cary, beginning with the doubles finals.
2013 Duke Fab Four Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 14
9 a.m. - Final rounds of doubles
NB 10 a.m. - Second round of men’s singles
NB 11:30 a.m. - Second round of women’s singles
NB 1 p.m. - Third round of men’s singles
NB 2:30 p.m. - Third round of women’s singles
Sunday, Sept. 15
9 a.m. - Final round of women’s singles
NB 10:30 a.m. - Final round of men’s singles
• NB = Not Before (matches will not start before this time)
• All rotations of matches will use 24 courts