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Duke slips at weekend tourney

The men’s tennis team kicked off its fall season over the weekend at Georgia’s Southern Intercollegiate Tournament. Although Duke’s top two players did not participate in the tournament, several veterans—juniors Stephen Amritraj, Jonathan Stokke and sophomore Peter Rodrigues—picked up wins in Division I singles competition.

Rodrigues, in his first match against Middle Tennessee State’s Kai Schledorn, cruised in the first set 6-2 and worked to a win in the second set with a tie-breaker. Rodrigues was tested in his third match when he struggled against second-seeded Franticek Babej of Southern Alabama. Rodrigues dropped the first set 6-3 and fought his way back to win the second 6-3. But Rodrigues was not able to maintain his momentum, losing the match in the third set 6-4.

Amritraj and Stokke each earned a victory. Amritraj handled Florida’s Chris Brandi 6-2, 6-1 in the first round, before a tough loss to Georgia’s eighth-seeded John Isner 6-3, 6-4. Stokke also picked up a first round victory against Mississippi State’s Florent Girod (6-4, 7-5), before dropping his second match against Auburn’s 14th-seeded Robert Lothouwers.

Freshman Ned Samuelson advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II singles draw. Samuelson easily handled his first two opponents, Georgia Tech’s George Grelesiani and Winthrop’s Alejandro Portugal, winning both matches in straight sets. Fighting his way through his second match against second-seeded Jordan Dolbeg of Florida, he won the first set in a tie-breaker and the second set with more ease, 6-4. Eighth-seeded Chipp Webb ended Samuelson’s streak (6-4, 6-3).

In doubles competition, Rodrigues and Stokke won three matches, advancing to the semifinals. They will finish the tournament today with two potential matches.