ROME, Ga. – Two lengthy doubles tiebreaks that went Duke’s way fueled the 12th-ranked Blue Devils to a 4-1 win over the Clemson women’s tennis team on Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2017 ACC Championships in Rome, Ga. The Tigers also forced four three-set matches in singles play in the heartbreaking defeat. With the loss, the No. 7-seed Tigers dropped to 13-12, while Duke, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, improved to 20-4.
All three doubles matches were close, with sophomore Fernanda Navarro and junior Daniela Ruiz claiming a 6-4 victory at No. 3 to open the match. The duo trailed 1-4 to open play, but fought back for the victory, their 11th-straight in dual doubles play. On Court 2, freshmen Constanza Gorches and Sydney Riley forced a tiebreak at 6-6, and battled back and forth with their Blue Devil opponents, extending play until falling 11-9. The crucial doubles point came down to No. 1, where sophomores Ayan Broomfield and Marie-Alexandre Leduc also reached a tiebreak, which they lost in a 9-7 heartbreaker.
The Blue Devils opened singles play with a win at No. 6 to take a 2-0 lead, before Leduc cut the lead in half with an upset at No. 1 singles. Leduc, currently unranked, defeated 76th-ranked Samantha Harris 6-0, 7-5. The win was her fourth in a row, and was her sixth against a top-100 singles opponent. At No. 3 singles, Navarro put together a great effort against 53rd-ranked Chalena Scholl, falling in three sets (6-0, 2-6, 6-2). Riley also forced three sets against No. 99 Kaitlyn McCarthy, but McCarthy ultimately clinched the match for the Blue Devils, winning 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. Broomfield and Gorches were also in third sets in singles play when play was suspended.
The Tigers will now await word on a bid to the 2017 NCAA Championships. The NCAA Selection Show is set for Tuesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m., and will be broadcast live on NCAA.com.
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