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MTEN: Duke defeats No. 37 Northwestern, 4-0

Posted January 26, 2013

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— The fifth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team defeated Northwestern in the championship match of the Durham region of the fifth annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend, 4-0, Saturday inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center. With the win, the Blue Devils earn a bid to play in the ITA National Team Indoors, held Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash. Duke advances to 5-0 on the season, while Northwestern falls to 6-1.

“It was a solid weekend and today was a great team win,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “The way everyone has been playing is a reflection of the work we have been putting in, everyone has been training hard and preparing well. I am happy for the guys and excited to book our spot in Seattle.”

The junior pairing of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel recorded the first win of the day for the Blue Devils in the No. 3 doubles match over Alex Pasareanu and Mihir Kumar of Northwestern. The duo was able to go up a second break to take a 6-3 advantage and went on to win the next two games to take the match, 8-3. Top-ranked Henrique Cunha and Rafael Hemmeler earned the first break in their match on court one to take a 2-1 lead that they never relinquished. The duo clinched the doubles point with their 13th consecutive victory dating back to the fall over Fedor Baev and Spencer Wolf, 8-3.

On court three, the 39th-ranked duo in the latest ITA poll, Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir continued their solid play, storming out to a 4-0 lead in their match over Raleigh Smith and Sidarth Bilaji of Northwestern, but the match was left unfinished at 5-5.

In singles, Hemmeler earned the first singles point of the day on court five over Jackman, 6-0, 6-2, while on court four Mengel defeated Pasareanu, 6-2, 6-2, to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 advantage on the scoreboard. After cruising in the first set of his singles match against Baev, 6-0, Tahir clinched the match for Duke after holding off Baev in the second set, 6-0, 6-4. The win keeps Duke’s undefeated streak alive for the spring season, as the Blue Devils are now 47-0 in singles and doubles in dual matches.

“I have been working on being loose and I thought I did a good job with that today,” said Tahir following the match. “I think I played well. I fed off everybody on the team, looking up everybody was winning. This is a good team win today.”

In his match in the No. 3 position, Redlicki went up two breaks early in his match and went on to win the first set, 6-1, over Balaji who was able to answer back to take the second set, 6-4. The match was left unfinished before a deciding third set could be played.

After staying on serve through the first two games of the No. 1 singles match, Cunha was able to take the first break over Wolf to take a 3-1 lead. The senior cruised from that point on, taking the first set, 6-1. In the second, Cunha was up a break at 5-2 before the match was left unfinished.

Court two saw the only match of the day between a pair of nationally ranked players in No. 23 Saba and No. 108 Smith of Northwestern. Saba fell in the first set of the match, 7-5, before the match was left unfinished in the second set.

Up next, the Blue Devils will travel to Champaign, Ill., the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships in May, to take on the Illini on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. The team will then play at Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 3 at noon.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
1st
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
3rd
MIA 68
BOS 55
 
3rd
BRK 75
DET 72
 
3rd
SAC 66
LAL 71
 
3rd
ORL 55
PHI 52
 
3rd
WAS 57
PHO 67
 
2nd
MIN 22
IND 28
 
2nd
OKC 32
NOP 30
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
2nd
UGA 55
SHU 34
 
2nd
ALA 29
APP 31
 
1st
KSU 23
NDST 20
 
1st
WASU 31
SJST 17
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
2nd Intermission
DET 0
COL 0
 
2nd
EDM 5
DAL 2
 
1st
BOS 1
BUF 0
 
1st
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
1st
CHI 0
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
 
4th
OAK 26
BUF 17
 
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA