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March 23, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C – Duke freshman Henrique Cunha and Virginia junior Michael Shabaz have been named ACC Men’s Tennis Co-Players of the Week.
Cunha, a freshman from Jau, Brazil, defeated top-ranked Steve Johnson and keyed the 50th-ranked Blue Devils to a 4-3 upset win over third-ranked Southern California.
Shabaz, a junior from Fairfax, Va., began his weekend with a straight set win over Maryland’s 124th-ranked Tommy Laine, and then closed with another straight-set win over 16th-ranked and two-time All-American Denes Luckas as the top-ranked Cavaliers downed eight-ranked Baylor.
The Player of the Week honor is the third this season for Cunha and the second for Shabaz. Both players are ranked among the top 10 nationally, with Shabaz holding the No. 4 spot in the most recent Campbell’s/ITA rankings and Cunha ranked No. 9.
With the Duke-USC match tied 3-3, Cunha won a second-set tiebreaker 7-4 against the Trojans’ Johnson. The win was the first over a top-five team for the Blue Devils since they defeated No. 5 North Carolina in 2007.
Cunha has defeated three top-10 players this season and has won seven straight matches, four against ranked opponents. Cunha also clinched the doubles point with teammate Reid Carleton at the No. 1 position. The duo won their ninth straight match, improving to 10-1 in dual matches and 27-4 overall.
Shabaz helped Virginia secure its eighth consecutive 20-win season. The 7-0 ACC victory over Maryland came against the nation’s 62nd-ranked team, and Sunday’s 5-2 win over Baylor was Virginia’s fifth win over a top-10 opponent this season.
Shabaz’s 6-3, 6-2 win over Lukacs marked the Bear All-America player’s most lopsided loss in over two years. Lukacs played a series of matches against pro players last fall, including a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 loss to former Virginia All-American and two-time NCAA singles champion Somdev Devvarman in the first round of the Charlottesville ATP Challenger in November. Shabaz also improved to 11-1 in doubles with Drew Courtney, who defeated the nation’s 33rd-ranked doubles team in the win over Baylor.