CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The seventh-ranked Duke men's tennis team closed out a successful weekend in Atlantic Coast Conference action, sweeping No. 61 Miami by a 7-0 score Sunday afternoon at the Hurricanes' Neil Schiff Tennis Center. The victory came on the heels of a 4-3 come-from-behind win at No. 26 Florida State on Friday, and gives the Blue Devils a record of 7-1 in conference play heading into an important matchup with No. 21 North Carolina on Wednesday, Apr. 11 in Durham.
After surrendering the doubles point in a 4-3 victory over No. 26 Florida State on Friday, Duke (18-3, 7-1) responded Sunday with a strong showing in doubles play. Junior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Chris Mengel, ranked No. 26 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's latest doubles poll, defeated the Hurricanes' Wilfredo Gonzalez and Henrique Tsukamoto by an 8-2 score on court one. The win pushed Cunha and Mengel's overall record to 13-6 on the year while also moving the duo to 6-2 in ACC contests.
The tandem of senior David Holland and sophomore Fred Saba secured the doubles point with an 8-3 victory against Diego Soto and Victor Mauz of Miami in the No. 3 match. Sophomore Cale Hammond and freshman Raphael Hemmeler then sealed the Duke sweep in doubles, teaming up to edge the Hurricanes' Omar Aly and Mark Schanerman by an 8-6 margin at No. 2. Hammond and Hemmeler remain unbeaten this spring with an overall ledger of 9-0 and an 8-0 record in ACC doubles action.
"Doubles was very good today," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "To bounce back after losing the doubles point at Florida State, I thought all three teams played well. We got off to a very good start which set the tone for the match."
Cunha and Hemmeler gave the Blue Devils an early boost in singles, with each racing out to 6-4, 6-1 victories. Sixth-ranked Cunha downed Miami's Gabriel Flores on court one to improve to 31-6 overall and 17-2 on the season from the top spot in the lineup. Hemmeler followed shortly after with a win over Tsukamoto in the No. 5 contest for his 20th singles victory of the year. The Duke rookie is also 10-1 this spring in the No. 5 position and has won five consecutive matches.
"It was nice to get a couple matches off quickly," Smith said. "Miami, I thought they competed well. We had some very tough first sets. We were fortunate to get all six first sets. I think that loosened the guys up a little bit, and we were able to finish off."
Mengel, listed No. 26 in the ITA singles rankings, clinched the Duke victory for the second time in as many matches with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Aly on court two. Mengel now owns an overall record of 28-8, including a 6-2 mark in ACC play.
Senior Torsten Wietoska, ranked No. 106 in the nation in singles, extended the Blue Devils' advantage to 5-0 in the match while picking up his 10th victory of the season at the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Wietoska took the first set of his matchup with Gonzalez by a 6-4 margin before falling behind in the second set. However, the Leer, Germany, native rallied for a 7-5 win in the second set, improving to 22-7 overall and 3-2 in conference action.
In his No. 4 singles contest against Miami's Soto, Saba claimed the first set by a 6-4 score and went on to win a second-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-1) to push his win streak to seven consecutive matches. Freshman Jason Tahir also won a tiebreak on court six on his way to a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Marco Stancati to cap the 7-0 sweep for Duke.
With the pair of victories against Florida State and Miami, the Blue Devils return home with an overall record of 18-3 and a 7-1 ledger in ACC play.
"It's nice to get the Florida sweep on the road," Smith said. "It's been tough for us to do over the years. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the last week of the ACC season."
The squad will close out the home portion of its regular season slate and recognize the team's three seniors - Holland, Wietoska and Luke Marchese - when it hosts No. 21 North Carolina on Wednesday, Apr. 11 at 3 p.m. at Ambler Tennis Stadium.
#7 Duke 7, #61 Miami 0 Apr 08, 2012 at Coral Gables, Fla. Neil Schiff Tennis Center