SEATTLE, WASH. - Sophomore Raphael Hemmeler won his doubles match and came from behind in singles to clinch the team win, as the ninth-ranked Duke men's tennis team knocked off No. 8 Oklahoma, 4-0, in the first round of play Friday evening at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) National Team Indoors. The Blue Devils improve to 10-1 on the season, while the Sooners fall to 5-2.
"I am proud of my team tonight," said head coach Ramsey Smith. "We beat a very good Oklahoma squad and the 4-0 score certainly doesn't reflect how competitive the match was. We fought extremely hard and showed a lot of toughness when it counted. We will recover tonight and prepare for another great opportunity tomorrow."
The Blue Devils claimed the doubles point with wins from the No. 1 and No. 3 positions in the lineup, as the team has won the doubles portion in each of its 11 contests of the season. The No. 2 duo in the nation of senior Henrique Cunha and Hemmeler claimed the first win of the evening on court one, downing Oklahoma's No. 19 duo of Costin Paval and Dane Webb, 8-3. With the win, the pair has won 16 consecutive matches dating back to the fall and owns an 8-0 ledger against ranked opponents. The pair of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel clinched the doubles point for the Blue Devils in the No. 3 position, edging Leonard Stakovosky and Peerakit Siributwong, 8-6.
In the No. 3 spot in the lineup, the 18th-ranked duo in the nation of Jason Tahir and Michael Redlicki held a 7-5 advantage over Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez Llamas and Guillermo Alcorta before the match was left unfinished.
The Blue Devils claimed the first singles victory of the match on court three, as Redlicki continued the terrific start to his rookie year overwhelming No. 119 Dane Webb, 6-2, 6-0. With the win, Redlicki now owns a 5-1 record against ranked opponents for the season. Mengel returned to the singles lineup in the No. 4 position, giving the Blue Devils a 3-0 advantage by defeating Alvarez Llamas in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
After falling in the first set at the No. 5 spot in the lineup, 4-6, Hemmeler, the 57th-ranked player in the latest ITA rankings, was able to bounce back to win the next two sets to edge Oklahoma's Stakovosky, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The win clinched the 4-0 decision for the Blue Devils. A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Hemmeler now owns a team-high 10 wins for the dual season and a 20-4 overall record
In the No. 2 position, Saba was trailing in the decisive third set, 3-4, against Alcorta before the match was left unfinished, 3-6, 6-4, 4-3, while Tahir's match against Siributwong was also in a third set before it was left unfinished, 6-3, 2-6, 2-1. On court one, Cunha took the first set in his match over Costin Paval before it was left unfinished in set two, 7-5, 2-5.
Up next, the Blue Devils will face No. 1 Virginia in Saturday's quarterfinal of the ITA National Team Indoors. The match is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Live stats and live video will be available for all of this weekend's action on http://www.gohuskies.com. For more information about the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships, visit the tournament homepage at www.itatennis.com.
Tennis Match Results Duke vs Oklahoma Feb 15, 2013 at Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Tennis Club) #9 Duke 4, #8 Oklahoma 0
Singles competition 1. #68 Costin Paval (OKLA) vs. #9 Henrique Cunha (DU) 5-7, 5-2, unfinished
2. #65 Guillmermo Alcorta (OKLA) vs. #31 Fred Saba (DU) 3-6, 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
3. #15 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. #119 Dane Webb (OKLA) 6-2, 6-0
4. #53 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Axel Alvarez Llamas (OKLA) 6-4, 6-2
5. #57 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Leonard Strakovosky (OKLA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Peerakit Siributwong (OKLA) vs. Jason Tahir (DU) 6-3, 2-6, 2-1, unfinished