DURHAM, N.C. - A strong showing in last weekend's home opener helped the Duke men's tennis team maintain its No. 5 ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's national poll Tuesday.
The Blue Devils, who were also tabbed No. 5 in the ITA's first rankings of 2013, improved to 3-0 last weekend with a pair of 9-0 victories over Elon and Charlotte at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
Senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler led Duke from the No. 1 doubles position over the weekend, defeating Elon's 22nd-ranked duo of Stefan Fortmann and Cameron Silverman on Saturday, 8-2. Cunha and Hemmeler also posted a doubles win Sunday against Charlotte, with Cunha passing former Blue Devil Doug Root to sit atop the program's record for career doubles victories at 122.
Cunha also excelled at the No. 1 singles spot, downing No. 21 Silverman of Elon Saturday, 6-2, 6-3, and recording a 6-0, 6-0 win over Charlotte's Jack Williams on Sunday afternoon. The 11th-ranked singles player in the nation, Cunha became Duke's all-time program leader in singles victories earlier this fall.
Last weekend's action in Durham also saw freshman Michael Redlicki - the 14th ranked singles player in the country - collect the first singles win of his career from the No. 2 slot in the lineup, as he downed Charlotte's Forrest Edwards on Sunday, 6-2, 6-2. Meanwhile, junior Fred Saba, who is listed at No. 23 in the ITA's latest singles poll, notched a win over No. 117 Fortmann of Elon in Saturday's match, 4-6, 6-4, 5-3.
Following last weekend's matches, the Blue Devils will next serve as one of 15 host sites for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 25-27 at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. Duke is slated to face Middle Tennessee State Friday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m., with the winner of that match taking on the winner of the match between Virginia Tech and Northwestern in the championship Sunday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.
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