Freshman Peter Alam aims to make impact on Iowa tennis program

The freshman hopes to assert his dominance despite his lack of experience at the college level.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa players huddle on the court before a men’s tennis match between Iowa and Louisville on Friday, March 6, 2020 at The Hawkeye Tennis Recreation Complex. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cardinals 4-1.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter

The spring season for the Iowa men’s tennis team is still months away, but freshman Peter Alam has big expectations for his first campaign with the Tigerhawk on his chest.

Alam had a decorated junior tennis career and is looking to play a part in the final chapter of the Iowa tennis program.

“Obviously the lineup is strong, so it is going to be tough as a freshman to break in,” Alam said. “I think I have a good chance if I do all the right things and show that I can play in the lineup here, so that will be a goal.”

The Manchester, England, native is a six-time International Tennis Federation junior doubles champion and a two-time singles finalist. He was also a finalist in the British Nationals for doubles in both 2017 and 2018.

Alam has a career-high ITF ranking of 203, boasting a 71-68 singles record and an 85-55 doubles record on his ITF junior career.

“I have played in a lot of different places, and I always enjoyed seeing the different cultures,” Alam said. “The main reason was to just play because I got to a point when I was about 14 or 15 years old where I was playing the same people in England like every week.”

The freshman is the fifth player from the United Kingdom on the active men’s tennis roster along with Joe Tyler, Oliver Okonkwo, Will Davies, and Matt Clegg.

“That was quite another attraction for me to come here was that element of Britain there that makes it easier for me to kind of integrate into,” Alam said.

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Alam has played with Clegg throughout his career and practiced with other members of the Iowa team over the summer.

“With Matt, I trained with him for a couple of years prior to when he got here and obviously in the past year when he has been here I haven’t seen him play,” Alam said. “He has really improved a lot, and it is actually quite amazing how much he has changed his game and played in a more positive way.”

Many freshmen can be intimidated by the workload and hard training sessions of Division I college athletics, but Alam said the intensity of practices and the hard work that the Iowa tennis program puts in every day has been one of his favorite parts of college thus far.

“When I was on my visit I had seen how they practiced, and I was really impressed,” Alam said.  “It has been exactly as I thought and even harder at times.”

Four Iowa players, including Alam, made a return to the court in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Fall Circuit event in Des Moines in October. Alam went 1-1 on the weekend in the single-elimination tournament after receiving a bye into the round of 16.

Alam beat Ankeny, Iowa, native Will Blevins in straight sets after not dropping a point in the second-set tie breaker. He then lost to the eventual tournament champion, Benjamin Lott, in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-3.

“Right away, as soon as I got here I could see the difference between men’s tennis and juniors,” Alam said. “The intensity, the dedication, everything.”

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