Durham, NC – The Duke University men’s tennis team was listed fifth in the first rankings of the season by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) with five players listed in the top-50 of the singles poll and senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler garnered the top spot in the doubles poll.
As a team, the fifth-place listing for Duke was its highest opening team ranking during head coach Ramsey Smith’s five year tenure. The Blue Devils, who are coming off a NCAA Quarterfinal appearance, are the second highest ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference trailing only top-ranked Virginia.
Cunha leads the Blue Devils in the singles rankings at No. 11 after playing to a 12-3 record in the fall. Freshman Michael Redlicki entered the rankings for the first time in his career at the No. 14 position after earning a 4-1 record against ranked opponents in the fall.
Junior Fred Saba garnered a No. 23 ranking in the ledger, while sophomore Raphael Hemmeler was tabbed 38th. Junior Chris Mengel was the fifth Blue Devil to be placed in the top-50 with a No. 46 ranking, while sophomore Jason Tahir was No. 123.
After concluding the fall by claiming the doubles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, Cunha and Hemmeler earned the top spot in the doubles ranking. The duo concluded the fall with a 12-1 record and earned titles at the Duke Fab 4 Invitational, the ITA Carolina Regionals, in addition to the title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.
Coming off a doubles title at the Disney Clay Court Invitational in Orlando, Fla., the duo of Tahir and Redlicki entered the poll listed 39th, while the team of Mengel and Saba are ranked 37th.
The Blue Devils will begin their 2013 dual season slate on Wednesday, Jan 9 at Hawaii in part of the Rainbow Warrior Challenge at 7 p.m. ET.