FLUSHING, N.Y. – Senior
Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler are set to begin play at the
USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Thursday att the USTA
Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
is the most selective event in college tennis, and I am excited for Henrique
and Rafa,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “Henrique is the first Duke player to
qualify for National Indoors all four years, and it is neat for Rafa to be here
as a sophomore. We are looking forward to a good weekend in New York.”
Cunha and Hemmeler, the 16th-ranked duo in the ITA preseason
rankings, will receive a first round bye and will begin play against Harrison
Adams and Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M in the doubles round of 16 Thursday.
The duo earned a trip to the prestigious event by defeating UNC Wilmington’s
Kosta Blank and Chris Cooprider, 6-2, 6-3, in the finals of last month’s ITA
Carolina Regional in Cary, N.C. Cunha, the
first player in the history of the Carolina region to win the ITA Carolina
Regional doubles title in four consecutive seasons, fell in the finals of the
2009 tournament with partner Reid Carleton. This season marks Hemmeler’s first
trip to the USTA/ITA National Indoors. For the fall, the team owns an 8-1
record, including a 2-0 mark against ranked opponents.
A native of Jaú, Brazil, Cunha will also be competing
against Georgia Tech’s Victor Valente Thursday in the first round of the
singles competition. Cunha, the top-ranked player in the country, earned one of
the two ITA Wild Card bids into the event. The senior will be competing in the
singles draw of the USTA/ITA National Indoors for the third time in his four
seasons at Duke and previously made the semifinals of the singles draw as a
junior in 2011. Cunha owns a 9-2 record for the fall season, while playing to a
4-1 mark against ranked opponents.
Two rounds of doubles and one round of singles are scheduled
to be played Thursday, beginning at 9 a.m. Fans can follow live scoring on www.itatennis.com.
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