EDWARDSVILLE - Gabrielius Guzauskas and Tyler Bowers are accomplished tennis players at the University of Illinois. The two shone at the recent Edwardsville Pro Wildcard Doubles Shootout championship, defeating the combination of Daniel Prado and Jefferson Nino in straight sets. The Doubles Shootout was presented by Jeb and Ginger Blasinggame of Keller Williams Marquee Real Estate.
Gabrielius had an 18-8 overall singles record at the U of I and a 26-24 doubles record in two seasons. Tyler, a 6-foot-3 player, was a heralded five-star recruit for the U of I from William and Reed Academy in Bloomington. He battled some injuries his freshman year, but had a 9-7 singles record and 7-9 overall doubles record in the 2022-2023 season and has great potential for the future.
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Gabrielius is originally from Lithuania before moving to the U.S. He said he chose to go to school in Illinois because he loved the atmosphere and it felt like home.
Tyler chose the U of I because it has always been his dream school and the team and coaches are "one big family."
Tyler had been to Edwardsville's wonderful tennis facility once before while in high school in Bloomington, and he said he knows what to expect here. He said he loves the facility and performing in Edwardsville.
"I was injured about half the season and Gabe and I haven't played much doubles together so winning this Pro Wildcard Shootout was nice. It feels good to win an event and get a couple of wins under our belt. It helps our confidence," Tyler said.
Gabrielius said he also hasn't been playing a lot of tennis, but he was very happy with how they played in the doubles final.
"I was impressed with how we were treated and for the professionalism of the tournament," he added. "There is a lot of shade, a lot of good food and housing nearby and great support of the matches."
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