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Apr 21, 2022

Tigers Upset No. 22 Duke, Advance to ACC Quarterfinals

ROME, Ga. – The 12th seeded and 62nd ranked Clemson Tigers (13-13, 2-10 ACC) pulled off an incredible upset over fifth seeded and 22nd ranked Duke (16-7, 8-4 ACC). After dropping the doubles point, the Tigers rallied to put on a brilliant singles performance and advance to the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2015 with a 4-3 win.

Three Tigers won their singles match in three sets, all three of which lost the first set and came back to win. Jorge Plans Gonzalez clinched the match for Clemson with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 victory on Court 3. 

While Plans Gonzalez and Daniel Labrador won their doubles match, the Blue Devils took the point and put Clemson in an early hole. The deficit did not shake Clemson’s confidence, as Teodor Giusca won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

Duke regained the lead, but Max Smith’s Court 6 victory leveled the score and Spencer Whitaker earned the win that gave Clemson the lead. 

On Court 3, Plans Gonzalez battled after losing a tough first set to stay alive and prevail 7-6 to force what ultimately became the decisive third set. There, he clinched the match for Clemson with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 victory, giving Head Coach Robbie Weiss his first appearance in the ACC Quarterfinals as the leader of the Tigers. The win also served as the highest ranked victory in the Weiss era. 

“To be honest, that was one of the best matches I have been a part of,” said an elated Weiss. “We were down and out but kept believing and dug as deep as I have seen from our boys. There are no words to describe how proud I am of them. This is a huge win for the program and feel nothing but happiness at the moment. To see the joy on the players faces after the match makes all the work put in worthwhile. We will enjoy this for a few hours and get refocused for Louisville. I know our boys will be ready to go. Go Tigers!”

Up next, Clemson will take on fourth seeded Louisville in the ACC Quarterfinals. First serve is slated for 10 a.m.