DURHAM, N.C. Ė The No. 32 Duke men’s tennis team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 6-1 victory over No. 35 Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
The Blue Devils used a tight finish in doubles to gain momentum and cruise through singles with wins in five of the six matches.
A pair of Duke freshmen came through in the clutch to give the Blue Devils the doubles point. At the No. 3 spot in the order, David Holland and Torsten Wietoska faced match point down 40-30 in the game and 7-6 in the match. The Duke pair fought back to force a tiebreaker at 8-8. Then with the score at 3-3 in the tiebreaker they rattled off four straight points to clinch the doubles point with a 9-8 (3) victory. With the win Holland and Wietoska stay undefeated with a 4-0 record.
“For the momentum of the match, the freshmen came up big,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “They got down early and then were down match point. I was a little worried but they came through in a tough situation. We had a great crowd and everybody was a little nervous in the beginning. Alain (Michel) and Kiril (Dimitrov) also did a good job at No. 1 and never trailed.”
Duke won each of the first five singles contests, all in straight sets. Dimitrov, ranked No. 45 in the country, was the first to finish, defeating Thibaut Charron 6-1, 6-3 in the No. 2 singles match. Dimitrov took his record to 12-6 on the year. Dylan Arnould ended his match shortly after with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 win in the No. 3 slot shortly after for his ninth win.
Wietoska earned his first career win over a ranked opponent to clinch the victory for the Blue Devils. With a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 98 Emil Lindgren at the No. 5 spot in the order, Wietoska improved to 8-4 on the season. Jared Pinsky also earned his first win over a ranked opponent, defeating No. 107 Nicolas Vinel 7-6 (4), 6-2 at the No. 4 position. Pinsky has won his last five matches and is now 12-5 this season. No. 25 Reid Carleton won his 14th match of the season and is 2-0 in the No. 1 spot.
The next match for the Blue Devils will be next week on Jan. 31 at 9 a.m. when they take on No. 11 Florida State in the first round of the National Team Indoors in State College, Pa.
Duke 1, Virginia Commonwealth 0
Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center
No. 38 Kiril Dimitrov/Alain Michel (Duke) def. Thibaut Charron/Bobo Delemark (VCU), 8-5
Benjamin Bouhana/Emil Lindgren (VCU) def. Reid Carleton/Dylan Arnould (Duke), 9-7
David Holland/Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. Martin Schulhauser/Nicolas Vinel (VCU), 9-8 (3)
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
1. No. 25 Reid Carleton (Duke) def. Martin Schulhauser (VCU) 6-2, 6-4
2. No. 45 Kiril Dimitrov (Duke) def. Thibaut Charron (VCU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Dylan Arnould (Duke) def. Benjamin Bouhana (VCU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3
4. Jared Pinsky (Duke) def. No. 107 Nicolas Vinel (VCU) 7-6 (4), 6-2
5. Torsten Wietoska (Duke) def. No. 98 Emil Lindgren (VCU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Bobo Delemark (VCU) def. Alain Michel (VCU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5)
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 5, 1, 4, 6
No. 32 Virginia Commonwealth - 5-0
No. 35 Duke - 1-0