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CWRU Athletics | May 21, 2023

CWRU's Hopper and Aduru win the NCAA DIII doubles national title

CWRU Athletics CWRU doubles champion Case Western Reserve University senior James Hopper and junior Vishwa Aduru celebrate their 2023 NCAA Division III doubles championship.
Case Western Reserve University senior James Hopper and junior Vishwa Aduru put a bow on a historic season for the men's tennis program by winning the 2023 NCAA Division III Doubles Championship, defeating Michael Melnikov and Utham Koduri in a third set tiebreaker, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5) at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida on Sunday afternoon.

The doubles championship was the 22nd individual NCAA title in the history of CWRU Athletics. It also marked the third NCAA Division III Doubles Championship in the history of the men's tennis team, including the 2014 title won by CJ Krimbill and Eric Klawitter and the 2022 championship claimed by Hopper and Jonathan Powell.

Hopper is the fifth CWRU athlete ever to claim multiple NCAA Individual Championships over a career, joining Leslie Kindling (track and field, 1995), Chris Ricklic (wrestling, 1994 and 1995), Kevin Luthy (track and field, 1990 and 1991), and John Bradshaw (swimming and diving, 1988 and 1989).

Hopper and Aduru took the first five games of the match and went on to win the first set 6-1. The second set was significantly closer with the teams holding serve through the first four games before the Swarthmore duo broke the Spartans' serve and held their own to take a 4-2 lead. CWRU answered back by winning the next two games to even the score at 4-4. The pairings each held serve over the next three games, but Swarthmore broke the Spartans again in the 12th game of the set to win 7-5 and send the title match into a third and deciding set.

CWRU took a 3-1 lead in the third set, but Swarthmore battled back to win four of the next five games to go ahead 5-4. The Spartans held serve to win the 10th game and knot the score at 5-5, and the team each held serve to send the contest into a tiebreaker for the National Championship.

In the tiebreaker, Swarthmore led 4-2 heading into the break, but Hopper and Aduru responded by winning the first three points after the restart to take a 5-4 lead. Melnikov and Koduri picked up the next point to tie the score at 5-5, but Hopper held serve to set up match point for the Spartans, and a return by the Swarthmore duo on the next point went long to clinch the title for Hopper and Aduru.

Sunday's win capped off what will go down as one of the most dominant single seasons ever by a Division III doubles pair for Hopper and Aduru. The duo combined to go 31-2 together during the year, with their only two losses coming to nationally-ranked Division I pairings at the ITA Fall Nationals. They finished the spring with a record of 22-0, while also claiming the ITA Cup III Doubles Title in the fall.

The match also marked the end of Hopper's Spartan career, who will undoubtedly go down in history as the most decorated player in the history of the men's tennis program, and quite possibly the most accomplished athlete in the history of CWRU athletics in any sport. Hopper ended his career with an 82-19 singles record and a 128-13 doubles record, marking the most doubles wins in program history. He is an eight-time All-American, claiming honors for both singles and doubles in each of the four years in his career, and in addition to claiming the two NCAA Doubles Championships, also helped lead the team to three-straight NCAA Championship appearances and to the first NCAA Title ever won by a Spartan team earlier in the week.

Hopper plans on continuing his athletic and academic career at Virginia next year, which won its second-straight NCAA Team title on Sunday as well.

For the CWRU men's tennis program, the history 2022-23 campaign officially came to a close with Sunday's match. It was a historic year for the team, which set a program record for wins with a 33-4 record, won its second-straight ITA Indoor Championship, the first University Athletic Association Championship, and claimed the NCAA Division III Team Championship in addition to the doubles title.

Case Western Reserve wins DIII men's tennis team title

Case Western Reserve won its first NCAA title in school history by knocking off Tufts, 5-2, in the Division III men's tennis championship.