DURHAM, N.C. – The ninth-ranked Duke men’s tennis team will send five representatives to the 2013 NCAA Individual Championships, as announced Wednesday by the NCAA. The five players that will represent the Blue Devils are tied for the most from any school in the event.
Senior Henrique Cunha, junior Fred Saba and rookie Michael Redlicki all earned at-large bids to represent the Blue Devils in the 64-player singles field. In doubles, the dynamic duo of Cunha and sophomore Raphael Hemmeler received the ACC’s automatic bid, while the tandem of freshman Michael Redlicki and sophomore Jason Tahir received an at-large bid into the 32-team field.
A product of Jaú, Brazil, Cunha earned his fourth All-America honors after being seeded ninth-16th in the singles field. Cunha will make his fourth consecutive appearance in the singles competition, as he fell in the quarterfinals of last season’s competition. This season Cunha owns an overall 29-3 record, including a perfect 17-0 mark in the dual season. In the fall, Cunha reached the semifinals at the USTA/ITA National Indoors Championships.
Saba will make his first career appearance in the NCAA Individual Championships and is 26-9 overall so far this season. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saba posted a 9-1 record in the ACC season, including a win over No. 1 Alex Domijan of Virginia.
Earning an at-large bid in his first season at Duke is Redlicki, who owns a 30-9 mark this season and is tied for eighth on Duke’s all-time list for wins as a freshman. In the fall, Redlicki reached the quarterfinals at the ITA Carolina Regional and the finals of the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney.
Ranked as in the top spot of the national rankings for much of the spring, Cunha and Hemmeler were handed the ACC’s automatic bid into the doubles completion and will be the No. 2 overall seed. Cunha and Hemmeler are enjoying an outstanding season that has seen the duo go 33-3 overall, including a perfect 9-0 mark in the ACC. In the fall, Cunha and Hemmeler won the ITA Carolina Regional Doubles Title, as well as the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships Doubles Title. Cunha will earn the third All-America honors of his career in doubles, while Hemmeler will garner his first.
Ranked in the top-20 for much of the season, Tahir and Redlicki earn their first at-large bid into the event. Tahir and Redlicki own a 24-6 overall mark on the season, including a 15-4 tally for the spring. In the fall, Tahir and Redlicki captured wins at the Duke Fab-4 Invitational and in the gold draw of the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney.
As a team, Duke received the No. 9 overall seed in the NCAA Team Championship and was selected as one of 16 regional host sites for the tournament. The Blue Devils will open play in the first round on Friday, May 10 at 1 p.m. against Coastal Carolina, with UNC Wilmington and South Carolina also competing in the Durham regional.