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MTEN: Duke Falls to No. 1 Virginia at ITA Indoors, 4-0

Posted February 17, 2013

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— The ninth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team fell to top-ranked Virginia, 4-0, Saturday evening in the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) National Team Indoors, played at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The Blue Devils fall to 10-2 on the season, while the Cavaliers improve to 4-0.

Duke claimed the early lead in doubles after the tandem of Michael Redlicki and Jason Tahir captured the first win of the evening at No. 2 over Virginia’s Justin Shane and Mitchell Frank, 8-3. The win gives the duo a 16-4 record for the season. Virginia took its first match of the evening on court three after the junior duo of Fred Saba and Chris Mengel dropped a hard-fought 8-5 decision to Virginia’s Justin Shane and Julen Urlguen.

In the deciding doubles matchup among two top-five tandems on court one, No. 2 Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler were defeated for the first time in the dual season by fourth-ranked Jamere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger, 8-6. The loss ends Cunha and Hemmeler’s streak of 16 consecutive wins and is the duo’s first loss dating back to the ITA All-Americans in the fall. It also marked the first time this season that the Blue Devils dropped the opening point of the match.

Without the services of Cunha for singles, Virginia claimed the first point after top-ranked Domijan defeated Redlicki, 6-3, 6-1, while freshman Bruno Semenzato dropped his match in three sets at the No. 6 position against J. Shane, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Semenzato replaced Cunha, a three-time All-American, in the singles lineup. In the top spot of the lineup, Saba rebounded from a 6-2 loss in the first set and went on to take the second frame, 6-2. In the decisive third set against the seventh-ranked Jenkins, Saba battled hard before ultimately falling, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. The win from Jenkins clinched the match for Virginia.

Hemmeler and Tahir were in the third set of their matches before they were each left unfinished. Playing at No. 4, Hemmeler was two games shy of giving the Blue Devils a point on the scoreboard, before his match against fifth-ranked Styslinger was ultimately left unfinished, 6-3, 4-6, 4-2. Tahir won the first set of his match over No. 25 Ryan Shane on court five, before the match was left unfinished, 4-6, 6-3, 4-2. In the No. 3 position, Mengel dropped the first frame of his match against Frank in a tiebreak, 7-6 (0) and was on serve at 4-4 in the second before it was also left unfinished, 7-6 (0), 4-4.

Up next, the Blue Devils will continue play at the ITA National Team Indoors and face fifth-ranked Pepperdine Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Seattle Tennis Center.

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