DURHAM, N.C. - Playing in their first match of the season as a top 10 team, No. 6 Duke played without No. 10 Henrique Cunha in singles and fell to No. 23 Michigan, 4-3, at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
Cunha, who normally plays at the top spot in the singles lineup for the Blue Devils, suffered an injury during a 9-8 doubles win with partner Reid Carleton that clinched the first point of the match for Duke.
"He (Cunha) couldn't hold onto the racket full-strength, so I wasn't about to put him in a situation where I felt like he had no chance to compete," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "I didn't think that would be fair to him or the team."
The injury forced Smith to slide each player up one spot and Michigan took advantage by winning four singles matches for the win, including two in three sets. The Wolverines got an upset at the No. 1 spot as No. 48 Evan King defeated No. 6 Reid Carleton 6-3, 6-2. No. 54 Jason Jung clinched the match for Michigan with a three-set victory over Chris Mengel 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
"Michigan played well," said Smith. "They're a good team and they play well. You know, they fought to the end there and obviously a coupe of three-setters decided it. They just played a little bit better on some of the big points."
Duke won two singles matches on the day. Senior Jared Pinsky won in straight sets at the No. 4 spot in the lineup, defeating Chris Madden 6-2, 6-2. Freshman Fred Saba won at the No. 3 position, earning a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Shaun Bernstein. David Holland and Chris Mengel claimed Duke's other doubles victory, 8-4, at the No. 3 spot.
The Blue Devils fall to 9-4 on the year while Michigan is now 6-3. Duke won't have another match until two weeks from now when they travel to Malibu, Calif. to face Pepperdine at 4 p.m. (ET) on Friday, March 11.
Tennis Match Results
Michigan vs Duke
Feb. 26, 2011 at Durham, N.C.
#23 Michigan 4, #6 Duke 3
1. #9 Reid Carleton/Henrique Cunha (Duke) def. Shaun Bernstein/Jason Jung (Michigan) 9-8
2. Evan King/Barrett Franks (Michigan) def. Fred Saba/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) 8-3
3. David Holland/Chris Mengel (Duke) def. Chris Cha/Chris Madden (Michigan) 8-4
1. #48 Evan King (Michigan) def. #6 Reid Carleton (Duke) 6-3, 6-2
2. #54 Jason Jung (Michigan) def. Chris Mengel (Duke) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. Fred Saba (Duke) def. Shaun Bernstein (Michigan) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
4. Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. Chris Madden (Michigan) 6-2, 6-2
5. Barrett Franks (Michigan) def. Luke Marchese (Duke) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. Justin Rossi (Michigan) def. David Holland (Duke) 6-3, 6-2
Michigan 6-3; National ranking #23
Duke 9-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,1,3,5,2)