DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s tennis team will send nine players to Tulsa, Okla., over the next week to compete in the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships. The tournament kicks off with the pre-qualifying stage Saturday, Sept. 28 at the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
“This is the biggest college tournament of the year in terms of size,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “The neat thing about it is it gives everyone a chance to work their way into the main draw of the biggest tournament of the fall.”
Redshirt junior and Tulsa, Okla., native Cale Hammond will be joined by sophomores Josh Levine and Daniel McCall and freshman TJ Pura in singles pre-qualifying play, which gets underway Saturday and continues through Sunday, Sept. 29. In the first round of action, Pura will take on UMBC’s Alexander Drean at 8 a.m. Saturday and Hammond will face Marc Collado Castells of Penn State at 9:30 a.m. Levine drew a first-round, 11 a.m. meeting with Michael Reilly of Penn State and McCall will go up against LSU’s Justin Butsch at 1 p.m.
The qualifying round will take place Monday, Sept. 30 through Wednesday, Oct. 2 with juniors Raphael Hemmeler and Jason Tahir and sophomore Bruno Semenzato among those already selected to the field. Both Hemmeler and Tahir earned preseason singles rankings from the ITA, with Hemmeler coming in at No. 49 and Tahir at No. 111.
Duke will also be represented in the doubles tournament as Hammond and Saba were named to the qualifying field. The 11th-ranked duo of Tahir and Redlicki and the 25th-ranked tandem of Hemmeler and Semenzato will both compete in the doubles main draw beginning Thursday, Oct. 3.
All players competing in the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds have the opportunity to advance to the next stage of play.
The Blue Devils will look to continue their strong start to the 2013-14 campaign, which began two weeks ago at the Duke Fab Four Invitational in Cary, N.C. Semenzato and Levine each captured singles titles at that tournament while Semenzato and Pura teamed up to win a doubles crown.
“It was really good just to get a bunch of matches under our belt and give the guys some confidence,” Smith said of the Duke Fab Four Invitational. “We had a weekend off and two weeks to train, so I think we’re feeling pretty good and ready to go.”
For complete updates throughout the ITA All-American Championships, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter (@Duke_MTEN).