April 2021

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39 Growing up in Corby, England, Joe Tyler had a dream. "Get to the United States some place, somehow," the University of Iowa senior said. Tyler made it to Iowa City, Iowa — the heartland of the United States — and he came bundled with friend and fellow Englishman, Will Davies. "It was the right move," Tyler said. "For tennis, [college] is that steppingstone where you're not ready to turn pro, but it is a good amount of time to improve your game, mature, develop and get a good education. I have done all those things and I have gotten what I wanted out of it. It has been a good platform for me to keep improving." An enterprise leadership major, Tyler could have another year of tennis eligibility, but his future on the court is uncertain. Because of budget restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Iowa will discontinue its men's tennis program following the 2021 spring season. Iowa is 4-10 on the season with the Big Ten Championships scheduled for April 29-May 2 in Lincoln, Nebraska. e final home match will be April 11 against Northwestern. "It will be a sad one," Tyler said. "ere have been a lot of memories here I will never forget. It has gone by so fast I can't believe it is actually happening. I feel I was playing my first match of my freshman year just a week ago." Tyler's freshman season was 2018 when he went 19-17 in singles (7-3 at No. 4) and 17-10 in doubles (13-8 at No. 3). Iowa head coach Ross Wilson realized early on that Tyler was an interchangeable piece when it came to making out the Hawkeye doubles lineup. "He has played with three or four different partners," Wilson said. "When he has been here, he has always been successful. On top of that, he has matured and grown into a leader on our team." As a sophomore in 2019, Tyler played as high as No. 2 singles and finished with an overall record of 18-18. He was 16-13 in doubles. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Tyler finished 11-11 in singles (5-2 at No. 3) and 13-7 in doubles. ere have been several career highlights, including a 4-1 win over No. 19 Michigan in 2019 (Tyler won at No. 5 singles and paired with Nikita Snezhko to win at No. 3 doubles), a 4-3 win at No. 14 Dartmouth in 2018 and a 4-3 win over Drake in 2019 when Tyler provided a match-clinching victory. "We hadn't beaten Drake in seven years and when we beat them at our place and I got to clinch that match, that was definitely an everlasting memory," Tyler said. "ey all will be memorable, it has been a great experience here." An elementary teacher with a good eye is responsible for Tyler's introduction to tennis. Aer watching the excellent hand-eye coordination of a 6-year-old Tyler, she recommended he participate in a racquet sport. He hit it off with tennis at a summer camp at a local club and became more serious as the years went by. When Tyler was 12, he chose tennis over soccer and he hasn't looked back. Before coming to the University of Iowa, Tyler combined to win 78 matches on the junior circuit (33-15 in singles, 45-10 in doubles). Tyler and Wilson connected via Facebook Messenger APRIL SCHEDULE April 9 Illinois April 11 Northwestern April 16 at Wisconsin April 18 at Minnesota

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