Duke vs. Northwestern – Sunday at 1 p.m. (12 p.m. CT)
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DURHAM – No. 8 Duke men’s tennis hits the road this weekend when it travels to face Big Ten foes in Illinois and Northwestern on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The Blue Devils are slated to battle the Illini on Friday at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CT) at the Atkins Tennis Center, before traveling to meet up with the Wildcats on Sunday at 1 p.m. (noon CT) at the Combe Tennis Center.
Duke is looking to remain undefeated on the season after it finished last weekend 2-0 with wins over No. 23 NC State and Middle Tennessee State during the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Earlier this week, sophomore Pedro Rodenas was tabbed the ACC Player of the Week, while the graduate student pairing of Michael Heller and Andrew Zhang garnered ACC Doubles of the Week nods. Rodenas, who is ranked No. 23 nationally in singles, holds a 3-2 mark on the year. Heller and Zhang come in at No. 14 nationally in doubles and sit with a 3-0 dual record. In addition, junior Jake Krug is a perfect 4-0 for Duke on the early season, including a 3-0 ledger on court six.
HISTORY WITH ILLINOIS
Friday’s contest will be the 30th all-time meeting between the two programs with the Illini holding the 19-10 edge on the series. The Blue Devils are riding a three-match winning streak over Illinois, including a 4-3 victory just a year ago.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois sits with a 2-2 record on the year, with both of its losses coming to top-20 opponents in No. 10 Kentucky and No. 17 Wake Forest. Last weekend, the Illini defeated No. 16 North Carolina, 4-3, during their first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend but fell in the championship match to the Demon Deacons, 4-1. Sophomore Kenta Miyoshi, senior Hunter Heck and junior Karlis Ozolins are ranked in the top-60 heading into the weekend with Miyoshi at No. 17, Heck at No. 46, and Ozolins at No. 55.
HISTORY WITH NORTHWESTERN
The Blue Devils and Wildcats have faced off 16 previous times with Duke leading the all-time series at 9-7. Northwestern has won the last three meetings between these programs with the Blue Devils’ last victory coming on Feb. 2, 2020, following a 4-0 win in Durham.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS