FLUSHING, N.Y. – Senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler of the Duke men’s tennis team completed the fall season on a high note after capturing the doubles title Sunday morning at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, played at the Billy Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Cunha and Hemmeler, the 16th-ranked duo in the country, were able to gain the early edge over the 35th-ranked Georgia pair of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland on their way to capturing the 6-4, 6-2 decision. They finish the fall season with an impressive 12-1 record, including an undefeated 4-0 mark against ranked teams.
“I am really happy for Henrique and Rafa and what they accomplished this week,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “They have a special chemistry together and they played some incredible tennis against the very best teams in the country. This is a big moment early in Rafa's Duke career that will give him so much confidence moving forward. I am really proud that Henrique was able to finish his fall career at Duke with a National Title.”
The pair became the second Blue Devil pair to capture the doubles title at the ITA/USTA National Indoor Championships, the other being Ludovic Walter and Jason Zimmerman in 2003.
“It was just awesome to be able to help one of Duke’s best players ever win the National Indoors in his last fall event,” said Hemmeler.
Cunha and Hemmeler were able to get into the field at the prestigious event after taking the doubles title at the ITA Carolina Regional last month. Cunha became the first player in the history of the Carolina region to win the ITA Carolina Regional doubles title in four consecutive seasons.
“I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish my last fall season,” said Cunha. “We played great doubles throughout the whole week. This title means a lot to us and we are so happy to be national champions. I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone that supported us throughout this journey.”
The Blue Devils have completed their fall schedule and the spring dual season schedule will be announced at a later date.
No. 2 Cunha/Hemmeler (Duke) def. Pieters/Wagland (Georgia), 6-4, 6-2
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