DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team closes the indoor portion of its schedule Sunday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader, welcoming Tennessee and N.C. Central to Durham. The Blue Devils are unbeaten at home this season with a 3-0 record.
Early arriving fans to the Sunday doubleheader can pick up a blue Duke Tennis cup. The Tennessee match is also a Royal Blue Club event. All regular season Duke men’s tennis home events at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center and Ambler Tennis Stadium are free to the public. General public parking is available in the Blue Zone parking lot off of Duke University Road.
Tennessee Series History
Sunday’s match will be the 24th all-time meeting between the Blue Devils and the Volunteers with Tennessee holding a 13-10 advantage … The two squads have met annually since 2011 with Duke going 4-4 during the stretch … In the last four meetings, only one has been determined by more than two points … The Blue Devils are 6-5 in Durham versus the Volunteers … A year ago in Knoxville, Duke came away with a 4-3 victory with four singles triumphs … Providing the clinching point was Nicolas Alvarez, who topped Igor Smelyanski 6-3, 7-5 on court one … In their dual match singles careers, Alvarez owns a 2-0 mark against the Volunteers while TJ Pura is 0-2 and Catalin Mateas and Vincent Lin are 1-0.
Scouting the Volunteers
Tennessee’s 7-2 start has been fueled by a 6-0 home record … The Volunteers have gone 1-1 on the road … Tennessee’s lineup is led by Timo Stodder, who has gone 6-3 in the No. 1 spot and is ranked No. 118 this week … He owns a team-best 17-7 overall record this season … Luis Valero has also posted a 6-3 mark in dual matches, all in the second spot … Luca Wiedenmann has also been strong with a combined 7-2 singles record at No. 5 (2-0) and No. 6 (5-2) … In doubles, Jack Schipanski and Valero are the top team, going 6-2 at No. 1 and ranked No. 24 … The No. 29 pair of Scott Jones and Stodder have been nearly unbeatable on court two, owning an 8-1 record.
N.C. Central Series History
Duke has gone 11-0 against N.C. Central and the two programs have met every year since 2009 … The Blue Devils have won seven meetings by 7-0 scores and have taken the last two contests by 6-1 scores … All 11 matches have been at Duke.
Scouting the Eagles
NCCU has posted a 3-15 singles record in dual matches, getting a win from Gabriel Cucalon at No. 1, Theo Kontopoulos at No. 2 and Davide Callegari at No. 4 … In doubles, the Eagles have gone 0-9 … Cucalon and Kontopoulos have played most often at No. 1 while Callegari and Maksym Konovalov have been the team on court two.
“I’m excited for this weekend,” head coach Ramsey Smith said. “It’s nice because we have a little bit of a longer week to prepare with having our last match on Sunday and getting that full week between. It has been a very productive week. Sometimes it’s nice to have that weekend where you play just one day.
“I added the Tennessee match a couple years ago. We alternate home and away with them every year and we’ve had some great matches in the past. They’re always tough, at home or on the road. They’re well coached and compete really hard. I love playing SEC teams and getting those opportunities in the nonconference part of the schedule. I’m looking forward to another one Sunday.”
Depth In The Order
Duke’s No. 4, 5 and 6 singles players have combined to go 14-3 (.824 winning percentage) … Freshman Nick Stachowiak has gone undefeated at No. 4 (4-0) and No. 5 (2-0) to lead the way while classmate Spencer Furman owns a 1-1 mark on court four and 3-1 ledger in the fifth slot … Pura has done his part on court six with a 4-1 record.
Stachowiak’s Winning Streak
Stachowiak has begun his career with six consecutive dual match wins, the longest by a rookie since Pura ripped off 10 consecutive in 2014 … Overall, Stachowiak’s nine match winning streak is the longest for the Blue Devils since Raphael Hemmeler's nine from March 15 – April 16, 2015 … Next up is Pura’s run of 10 consecutive decisions from February 9 – April 25, 2014 … Stachowiak is up to 20 singles victories, 10 away from a place on the Duke top-10 list for singles wins by a rookie.
A Successful Pairing
Stachowiak and Furman have combined forces in doubles, posting a 10-0 record and 5-0 mark in dual matches … The duo’s 10-match winning streak is the longest for a Duke pair since Henrique Cunha and Hemmeler won 16 straight from March 5 – May 16, 2013 … Stachowiak owns 18 total doubles wins, just five away from cracking the Duke top-10 list for doubles wins as a freshman … Cunha owns the record with 41 in 2009-10.
Updated Singles Rankings
In the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released February 8, the Blue Devils moved in the singles rankings as Alvarez shifted from No. 10 to No. 12 … Alvarez has yet to play in a dual match … Overall, Alvarez owns a 9-5 record this year and has played seven of his 14 matches against ranked opponents … Alvarez is joined in the ranking by Stachowiak, who made his first career appearance at No. 116 … In doubles, Alvarez and Stachowiak are No. 52.
Last Time Out
Duke suffered another close road loss, falling 4-2 at No. 9 Northwestern … The Blue Devils dropped the doubles point and first singles match before winning two in singles to even the score at 2-2 before the Wildcats tallied the last two points … The Blue Devils were swept in two doubles matches and Lin dropped a 6-3, 6-1 decision to No. 26 Strong Kirchheimer on court one … Duke registered its first point on court five as Furman topped Ben Vandixhorn 6-3, 6-4 … On court four, Duke evened the match at 2-2 overall with a 6-4, 6-2 victory by Stachowiak against Dominik Stary … On court three, the Wildcats regained the lead at 3-2 from Konrad Zieba’s 6-4, 7-6 (5) win versus Robert Levine … Northwestern closed the match with Sam Shropshire’s 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory against Mateas on court two.
Duke has more than a week off before returning to action Saturday, February 25, with a doubleheader against Coastal Carolina and Charlotte … The matches are slated to be the first of the year at Ambler Tennis Stadium … First serve is set for 10 a.m. versus Coastal Carolina and 3 p.m. against Charlotte.