ATLANTA, GA. – The ninth-ranked Duke University men’s tennis team concluded its 2013 regular season road schedule with a 5-2 win over Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The Blue Devils improve to 18-4 on the season and 6-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 8-12 on the year and 1-6 in the conference.
“It was a good team win for us today,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “Georgia Tech fought hard and pushed us in singles. When things got tight our guys stepped up and competed really well.”
The Blue Devils took control of the doubles portion from first serve, quickly winning the opening point in just under 45 minutes with victories on courts one and three. The tandem of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel quickly dispatched the Georgia Tech pair of Garret Gordon and Colin Edwards, 8-1, at the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The win is the duo’s 20th of the season, as three Blue Devil double teams now own at least 20 wins in doubles.
At the No. 1 position, the dynamic duo of senior Henrique Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler, the top-ranked pair in the country, continued their dominant season, as the pair sealed the opening point for Duke with an 8-2 win over Juan Spir and Eduardo Segura. The win for Cunha and Hemmeler is their ninth consecutive and the duo’s 29th of the season, as they now sit in fifth-place all-time in wins among double teams in the program’s history.
On court two, Jason Tahir and Michael Redlicki were ahead in their match, 7-4, over Georgia Tech’s Juan Melian and Nathan Rakitt before it was left unfinished.
Despite playing without the services of fifth-ranked Cunha, the Blue Devils came away with four wins in the singles portion of the match. Tahir continued his strong play at the No. 5 spot in the lineup, as he collected his 23rd win in straight-sets, 6-2, 6-1, over Sharma. Georgia Tech was able to cut into the Duke lead to make the score 2-1, after Spir defeated Saba at the top position, 6-1, 6-4. The loss from Saba is his first in ACC play this season and ends a streak of four straight wins over ranked opponents.
Playing in the first ACC match of his Duke career, rookie Josh Levine downed Colin Edwards, 6-3, 6-2, to put the Blue Devils within one point of the win. A product of Syosset, N.Y., Levine now owns a 7-0 record in the dual season. The Yellow Jackets clawed back to within one after Segura edged Mengel at the fourth position, 7-5, 7-6 (5).
After dropping the first set of his match to Melian at the No. 2 position, 6-0, Redlicki battled back to seal the team win for Duke. A product of Hawthorn Woods, Ill., Redlicki trailed in the second set, 0-2, before winning the next three games. The rookie won the second set, 7-5, to force a decisive third set, and jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the final frame, before clinching the come from behind victory, 0-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Playing in the fourth spot for the third time this season, Hemmeler downed Segura, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-0. Hemmeler remains perfect when playing at the fourth spot at 3-0 on the season. The win is Hemmeler’s team-leading 29th of the season.
Duke will return to the courts at Ambler Tennis Stadium to host Miami Sunday, April 14. First serve is scheduled for noon.
Tennis Match Results
Duke vs Georgia Tech
Apr 07, 2013 at Atlanta, Ga.
(Ken Byers Tennis Complex)
#9 Duke 5, Georgia Tech 2
1. #79 Juan Spir (GT) def. #25 Fred Saba (DU) 6-1, 6-4
2. #56 Michael Redlicki (DU) def. Juan Melian (GT) 0-6, 7-5, 6-1
3. Nathan Rakitt (GT) def. Chris Mengel (DU) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
4. #73 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. Eduardo Segura (GT) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0
5. Jason Tahir (DU) def. Anish Sharma (GT) 6-2, 6-1
6. Josh Levine (DU) def. Colin Edwards (GT) 6-3, 6-2
1. #1 Henrique Cunha/Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. #51 Juan Spir/Eduardo Segura (GT) 8-2
2. Juan Melian/Nathan Rakitt (GT) vs. #14 Jason Tahir/Michael Redlicki (DU) 4-7, unfinished
3. #44 Fred Saba/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Garrett Gordon/Colin Edwards (GT) 8-1
Duke 17-4; National ranking #9
Georgia Tech 8-12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,1,6,3,2,4)