Coramutla, Chen and Tzeng win opening round matches at NCAAs to earn All-America honors

TEXT: NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships All-Americans Anupreeth Coramutla Singles, Jeffrey Chen and Adam Tzeng, Doubles
IMAGES: Smiling poses of the three players
BACKGROUND: Check and Tzeng high-fiving

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Brandeis University men's tennis player Anupreeth Coramutla '21 of Monroe Township, New Jersey, became the first Judge to win a first-round match at the NCAA Division III Individual Tournament in more than three decades when he defeated Jeremy Yuan of the University of Chicago in three sets (7-5, 3-6, 6-3) today at the Champions Tennis Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Coramutla is the first Brandeis player to play a match in the singles tournament since 2014, when Brian Granoff '17 appeared. David Aizenberg '20 was in line to participate last year before the tournament was cancelled because of COVID-19. Coramutla's win is the first by a Judge in four tries since Noel Occomy '89 reached the quarterfinals in 1989.

In today's match, Coramutla got off to a quick start. He held off four break points in the second game of the first set, then used that momentum to break Yuan in the third to take a 2-1 lead. After four straight holds Yuan earned his first break of serve in the eighth game to tie things up at 4-4, but Coramutla bounced back with his second break of the match in the 11th game to go ahead, 6-5. He then served it out to take the first set, 7-5.

The second set saw service holds hard to come by in the early going, with five breaks coming within the first six games. Yuan had the last of those, and was able to consolidate to take a 5-2 lead, eventually claiming the second set, 6-3.

Yuan continued his momentum in the third set, winning the first two games. Coramutla answered, holding serve at love and coming from 40-15 down to break and even the final set at 2-all. The next two games featured breaks, moving the set to 3-3. Coramutla then held at love again to take a 4-3 lead. In game eight, he missed out on his first break point at 30-40, but converted on his advantage, giving himself a chance to serve for the match. Coramutla won the final game to complete the victory in two hours and forty minutes.

This was the second career meeting between Coramutla and Yuan, with the Brandeis player prevailing, 7-5, 6-1, in 2019.

With the win, Coramutla advanced to the Round of 16 to meet top-seeded Ethan Hillis of Washington University. Hillis won, 6-0, 6-3, in his opening round match against Scotty Hunter of Christopher Newport.

The two started their match, with Hillis earning a late break of serve in the first set to take a 6-4 lead. Both players had two service breaks in the second set and were on serve with Coramutla due to serve trailing 3-4 when rain started and forced play indoors. Once the contest resumed, Hillis won eight of the next 10 points to claim a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

The Judges added two more All-Americans later in the afternoon in the NCAA Doubles Tournament, when Jeffrey Chen '21 of Northfield, Illinois, and Adam Tzeng of Eagle, Idaho, defeated Ryan Macy and Alex Strause of Christopher Newport University. The Judges rolled to victory, losing only two games all match, 6-0, 6-2. Tzeng was particularly tough on his serve, winning three games at love.  This marks the second year in a row that the Judges have had an All-America doubles team.

This was also Brandeis's first win in the NCAA Division III Doubles tournament since 1989, which came by way of Occomy and partner Ian Murray '89, who also reach the quarterfinals. Chen and Tzeng will play again in their quarterfinal match around 4:30 p.m. They will take on the winner of the match between top-seeded James Hopper and Matthew Chen of UAA rival Case Western Reserve and Moses Hutchinson and Andrew Watson of the University of Mary Washington.