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Jan. 31, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke junior Henrique Cunha and North Carolina freshman Esben Hess-Olesen have been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Co-Players of the Week.
Cunha swept a pair of No. 1 singles matches in straight sets, including a victory over a fellow top-15 ranked opponent, as the Blue Devils blanked No. 47 VCU and No. 26 Washington in the opening round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Hess-Olesen helped secure a pair of crucial points as the No. 18 Tar Heels posted a 4-2 upset win over No. 15 Illinois in the first round of the ITA Nationals, scoring a straight-set victory at No. 3 singles and in No. 2 doubles.
Duke’s seventh-ranked Cunha improved to 3-0 in dual match play and 17-4 overall. Cunha dispatched No. 15 Kyle McMorrow of Washington by a 6-3, 6-4 count in Sunday’s match to lead the Blue Devils off the courts with a 4-0 victory. The win followed a 7-5, 6-1 sweep of VCU’s Alexis Heugas on Saturday. The Player of the Week honor is the second straight and the 10th career for the Jau, Brazil native, who has eight wins over ranked opponents on the year.
UNC’s Hess-Olesen improved to 3-0 in both singles and doubles play this dual match season with his performance vs. Illinois. The Viby, Denmark, native combined with Joey Burkhardt to defeat Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon 8-2 at No. 2 doubles as the Tar Heels went on to claim the doubles point. Hess-Olesen then defeated Stephen Hoh 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles, giving the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead en route to their eventual 4-2 victory over the Fighting Illini. The win by UNC avenged a 4-1 loss to Illinois in the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.