DURHAM, N.C. – Fresh off concluding its first undefeated regular season at home since the 2000-01 campaign Sunday, the ninth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team is set to begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Tennis Championship at Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. After finishing with a 9-1 record in conference action, the Blue Devils are slated as the No. 2 seed and will begin play against No. 34 Florida State Friday, April 26 at noon.
“We are going into the tournament with a lot of momentum,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “We are healthy and playing really well. We have dominated a lot of really good teams in conference and we are excited to be going to Cary for the tournament.”
In their final regular season home match of the season Sunday, the Blue Devils downed N.C. State, 7-0, concluding the season with a 13-0 home record to mark the eighth undefeated home season in program history. Senior Henrique Cunha led the Blue Devils, as he was honored after the doubles point on Senior Day, with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Robbie Mudge in singles at the top spot of the lineup. Cunha wrapped up an outstanding regular season that saw the Jaú, Brazil product go undefeated in singles (16-0) and doubles in ACC competition (10-0).
Over the course of the program’s history, the Blue Devils have enjoyed strong success in the ACC Tournament. Duke owns an all-time 53-16 record at the tournament, which is the most wins of any program in the conference. Duke will seek its 13th all-time ACC Championship and the first since the 2006 season. The squad has appeared in the finals in each of the last three seasons, before falling to Virginia.
“It would be very special for us, that is our goal,” said Cunha of the possibility of winning an ACC Championship. “We are playing well, we are confident and we respect all of the other teams in our league.”
Florida State comes into Friday’s match as the No. 7 seed in the tournament and a 4-1 win over 10th-seeded Georgia Tech in Thursday’s first round. The Seminoles own an 18-9 ledger for the season and finished with a 4-6 mark in ACC competition. No. 109 Dominic Cotrone is the lone ranked player for the Seminoles in singles, while the Seminoles boast three ranked duo’s in doubles with No. 17 Cotrone and Blake Davis leading the way. The tandem of Benjamin Lock and Andres Bucaro come into Friday’s match with a No. 61 ranking, while Bucaro and Michael Rinaldi are listed 83rd.
The winner of the Duke and Florida State match Friday will face the winner of No. 24 Wake Forest and No. 42 Virginia Tech or Boston College in Saturday’s second semifinal at 1 p.m. Tickets for all sessions of the event are available for $14 for adults and $10 for youth and students, while single day passes are available for $7 for adults and $5 for youth and students. Children eight and under will be admitted free.
For live stats and updates throughout the weekend, follow Duke men’s tennis on twitter (@Duke_MTEN).