DURHAM, N.C. – For the 25th time in 26 seasons, the Duke men's tennis team will compete in the NCAA Team Championship, according to an announcement by the NCAA on Tuesday. The Blue Devils will travel to Athens, Ga., for first and second round play.
Duke (16-9) will take on South Florida (17-8) at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 12 in the opening round. The host Georgia Bulldogs (17-5) face Florida A&M (11-9) at 2 p.m. on Friday. The winners of the two matches will face each other at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.
The Blue Devils have played South Florida five times, going 5-0 against the Bulls. The last meeting was a 5-3 Duke victory on March 1, 1992. The 16 regional champions will head to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., to compete for the NCAA crown May 18-29.
Duke owns an all-time record of 47-25 (.653) when competing in the NCAA Championship. In their last appearance, the Blue Devils advanced to the 2015 Round of 16 before falling 4-0 to Southern California. Duke has reached as far as the quarterfinals eight times (1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2012 and 2013). In the last five years, Duke owns a 9-4 record (.692 winning percentage) in May.
Under the guidance of ninth-year head coach Ramsey Smith, Duke will enter the NCAA Team Championship with 16 wins and positioned itself for the NCAA Team Championship appearance by going 8-3 during its final 11 matches of the season. All three losses were to teams ranked within the top 20 at the time of the match.
In 2017 the Blue Devils have been led by the team's lone senior, TJ Pura. Pura has played the best tennis of his career, going 11-0 in ACC action and clinching four of Duke's eight league victories. Pura enters the NCAA event with a career-high 30 singles victories.
Singles and doubles selections for the 2017 NCAA Individual Championships will be announced Wednesday.
NCAA Tennis First and Second Rounds Schedule of Play
Friday, May 12
11 a.m. – South Florida vs. Duke
2 p.m. – Florida A&M vs. Georgia
Saturday, May 13
3 p.m. – Winners of men's first round matches