DURHAM, N.C. - The fifth-ranked Duke University men's tennis team will open its home slate against a pair of in-state opponents this weekend at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. The Blue Devils will host Elon Saturday, Jan. 19 at noon before hosting Charlotte Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.
"We are looking forward to our first two home matches of the spring season this weekend," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "Once again we are playing an expanded format of eight singles matches which give more guys the opportunities to compete in live dual matches early on in the season."
The team began its season with a convincing 9-0 win over Hawai'i on Jan. 9 to start the season 1-0. In the match against the Warriors, the Blue Devils won seven of eight singles matches in straight sets, while also posting an overall dominant performance in doubles.
The top-ranked doubles pair of senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler enters the weekend on a 10-match win streak, while Cunha needs just one victory to Doug Root's program record for the most doubles wins in a career (121). In singles, 14th-ranked freshman Michael Redlicki turned in impressive doubles and singles victories in his collegiate dual match debut at Hawai'i. He paired with sophomore Jason Tahir to collect an 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles before winning, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 3 position in singles.
Elon will begin its dual season schedule when it visits Durham Saturday at noon. The squad is led by junior Cameron Silverman, the 21st-ranked player in the nation, and sophomore Stefan Fortmann, who enters the weekend as the 121st-ranked player in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Duke and Elon will meet for the eighth time in program history, with the Blue Devils holding a 7-0 series advantage. When the two teams last met, Duke defeated the Phoenix, 7-0, on Jan. 23, 2011 in Durham.
Charlotte is 0-1 on the season after falling to No. 39 South Carolina in its season opener. They will travel to No. 66 Wake Forest on Saturday before facing the Blue Devils Sunday. The 49ers are led by Jordi Massalle Ferrer, who owns a 12-3 overall record entering the weekend. The Blue Devils and 49ers will meet for the third time in program history, with Duke holding the all-time series lead at 2-0. The two squads last played on March 4, 2009, with Duke winning the match, 7-0.