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Mar 01, 2024

Tigers Battle Till Final Set, Drop First ACC Match Against No. 11 Duke

DURHAM, N.C. – After a hard-fought battle, the Clemson Tigers dropped their first conference-play match over No. 11 Duke as the Blue Devils took the victory, 4-3. Three Tigers secured singles victories including freshman Wissam Abderrahman who earned a win over a ranked opponent.

“A great college match and a great performance by several of our guys,” Head Coach Brandon Wagner said. “A point or two away from getting it done today but not quite enough. Our guys are continuing to learn and understand what it takes to win consistently at this level. Stay the course and it will begin to happen for them. Now have to respond and be ready for another huge test on Sunday vs. UNC.”

In doubles, the electric duo of Abderrahman and Max Damm were quick to secure the first victory of the match as they took down the Duke pairing of Faris Khan and Connor Krug, 6-3. The Clemson duo is currently undefeated as they have won all five matches that they have played in as a doubles pairing.

The No. 54 ranked pairing of Noa Vukadin and Max Smith battled hard on court one but the Blue Devils took the 7-5 victory, despite the Tigers tying it up to force another set. On court three, Stewart Aronson and Marko Mesarovic took on the No. 21 pairing of Michael Heller and Andrew Zhang as they also tied things up but Duke was able to take the victory, 7-5 and secure the doubles point.

The battle continued in singles as Stewart Aronson (6-1, 6-2) and Matt Pitts (6-4, 6-3) both defeated their opponents in two quick sets. The score continued to go back and forth as the Blue Devils also secured two singles victories to make the score 3-2 with only two courts left to finish.

On court two, Abderrahman impressed all as he was able to secure a comeback, three set victory over Pedro Rodenas who is currently ranked No. 31 in the nation in singles. Abderrahman took down the Blue Devil, 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3.

Finally on court one, Ryuhei Azuma went toe-to-toe with Duke’s Garrett Johns, who is ranked No. 64 in the nation in singles. Azuma was quick to win the first set, 6-4 but Johns responded with a 6-7 (1-7) tiebreak win in the next set. After over 30 individual games, Johns took the win,  6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3 to secure the 4-3 victory for Duke.

Up next, the Tigers will head to Chapel Hill to take on No. 43 UNC on Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. For complete coverage of the Clemson men’s tennis team, follow @ClemsonMTennis on Twitter and Instagram.

Clemson 3, Duke 4


1. Garrett Johns/Pedro Rodenas (DU) def. #54 Max Smith/Noa Vukadin (CU) 7-5
2. #21 Michael Heller/Andrew Zhang (DU) def. Stewart Aronson/Marko Mesarovic (CU) 7-5
3. Wissam Abderrhman/Max Damm (CU) def. Faris Khan/Connor Krug (DU) 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2


1. #64 Garrett Johns (DU) def. Ryuhei Azuma (CU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
2. Wissam Abderrhman (CU) def. #31 Pedro Rodenas (DU) 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3
3. Andrew Zhang (DU) def. Noa Vukadin (CU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Connor Krug (DU) def. Marko Mesarovic (CU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Stewart Aronson (CU) def. Alexander Visser (DU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Matt Pitts (CU) def. Jake Krug (DU) 6-4, 6-3

Order of finish: 5,3,4,6,2,1