STANFORD, Calif. – Duke sophomore Henrique Cunha got off to a strong start in the NCAA Individual Singles Championships with a straight set victory on Wednesday.
Cunha, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, squared off against No. 40 Sekou Bangoura Jr. from the University of Florida in the first round of the field of 64. The match was all Cunha, who won the first set 6-2 and the second set 6-4. He improves to 35-9 overall on the year and picks up his 20th win over a ranked opponent.
The first round win for Cunha sets up a matchup with No. 59 Luka Somen of Virginia Tech on Thursday. Somen won by retirement in the first round with No. 52 Tucker Vorster of Ole Miss calling it quits down 6-3, 4-3. Cunha and Somen have faced each other twice this season with Cunha winning in straight sets each time. He won 6-4, 6-3 in the regular season and 6-2, 6-1 in the ACC Tournament.
Senior Reid Carleton was also in action for the Blue Devils on Wednesday. Carleton’s singles career came to a close with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to No. 45 Tennys Sandgren of Tennessee. Carleton won a career-high 35 singles matches this season and finished 35-10. He tallied 102 career singles wins to finish ranked ninth on Duke’s career singles victories list.
The first round of doubles will take place on Thursday along with the round of 32 for singles. Duke’s Carleton and Cunha are the No. 7 seed in doubles and will take on another top 10 tandem, brothers Christoph and Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss (No. 10), to start the tournament.
All matches are taking place at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University. Live scoring and video is available at http://www.gostanford.com/ot/2011-ncaa-tennis-tournamentcentral.html.