ATHENS, Ga. - Duke's Henrique Cunha set a new school record for singles victories in a season on Thursday while also winning in doubles with Reid Carleton in the round of 32 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Cunha broke a tie with Ludovic Walter (36-9, 2003-04) and Andres Pedroso (36-13, 2000-01) for the single season wins mark by claiming his 37th victory of 2009-10. In the second round of the NCAA singles championships, he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 37 Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech to improve to 37-5 overall. Cunha has now won 22 consecutive singles matches and has an impressive record of 25-3 against ranked opponents this season.
"The record is amazing and special to me, but I am focused on playing here and hope I can keep winning," said Cunha. "I think I played a little bit better than I did yesterday. I served really well and played really well in the big points of the match. That was the key for me today."
Next up for Cunha will be a round of 16 match against No. 14 Sanam Singh of Virginia. It will be the first time the two players have met as they each played at different spots in the lineup during the dual match season. Singh has easily won his two matches in the tournament against the No. 27 and 60 players in the ITA singles rankings.
Carleton and Cunha, the No. 1 seed in the tournament in doubles, avenged a loss from the fall against Wisconsin's Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka. The two Badgers upended the Duke pair in the first round of the ITA All-American Championships Main Draw by an 8-3 score. For the NCAA Championships the format is changed to a best of three sets and Carleton and Cunha showed how far they have come by defeating the No. 15 Wisconsin team in straight sets 6-3, 7-5.
"Those guys gave us a beating in the fall and probably handed us our worst loss this year," said Carleton. "We really wanted to prove that we are the No. 1 seed and it felt good to win. I thought we returned really well today and playing outdoors also helped us since we played them indoors in the fall."
The two Blue Devils picked up their 40th victory of the season, improving to 40-5 overall with their seventh consecutive win. They are now 14-5 against ranked teams and will square off against No. 16 Amit Inbar and Nick Meister of UCLA on Friday. Meister played with a separate partner, Haythem Abid, in an 8-2 loss to the Duke pair in a dual match on March 9.
Match times for Friday's contests will be released later this evening and will be updated on both the singles and doubles brackets at the below links.
NCAA Doubles Bracket