IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s tennis program added freshman Matt Clegg to its 2019-20 roster following one of the most successful seasons in school history. The Hawkeyes are coming off a program-best 14 home wins and claimed the 43rd spot in the ITA final rankings last spring.
The Doncaster, England product is well accomplished from his prep days back home. Clegg won the British Tour Ilkley Champion in 2018 along with the U18 Boy’s County Cup Division 1 Championship in 2019. Clegg also was an ITF Doubles Champion in Liverpool, Dublin, and Malta, and he was an ITF Singles Semifinalist in Cyprus, Nottingham, and Dublin. After that, Clegg earned a career-best No. 585 ITF Singles Ranking.
Mellecker Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ross Wilson and Assistant Coach Joey Manilla may have found a diamond in the rough. Wilson and Manilla were in on Clegg early in the recruiting process, ultimately cultivating a close relationship that resulted in Clegg coming to Iowa City.
“I was messaged online that I wanted to play college tennis in the United States”, Clegg said. “Then coach Wilson and I started talking and I really liked his approach. He even came over to England to watch me play a tournament and asked if I wanted to come visit Iowa. I loved the campus, I got with the team, and I already knew some of the guys from back home.”
Clegg traveled more than 4,000 miles back to Doncaster, but Clegg left Iowa City impressed with what the university and program had to offer.
“I was supposed to visit a couple other universities but as soon as I left Iowa I knew it was the best place for me, so I committed”, Clegg added.
The academic year came quick. Heading into his freshman year, Clegg’s world had changed coming across the world for a new beginning. School, tennis, and social life was all new. In the fall, the team gets after it and that can be a lot for a true freshman. Not for Clegg.
“He is the exact type of recruit we were looking for and want to come in every single year”, Manilla said. “He’s only been here a couple of weeks and made some huge steps in his game. He’s exactly what we’re looking for to add to our culture and we’re excited to have him.”