Scholar-Athlete Jorge Serrano Honored for Athletic and Academic Achievement
SLU-Madrid Sports Director César Rioja nominated Jorge Serrano for the February Athlete of the Month Award in recognition of his high-level tennis game and endurance in both academic and athletic settings.
Serrano, a junior originally from a village in the mountains near Madrid called Colmenar Viejo, is pursuing a double major in international business and economics while training and competing in national-level tennis tournaments.
"I've really enjoyed getting to know Jorge," said Rioja, who serves as an academic advisor to student athletes training and competing while pursuing their degrees at SLU-Madrid. "He is very hardworking and serious, both in training and in competitions. He has a great attitude and he is a very deserving recipient of this award."
Serrano’s tennis career began when he was nine years old.
“I hit my first shots and discovered my love for the sport,” he said.
Serrano continued to play tennis and eventually began training with Carlos Marcote and Adam Omary at Master Tennis and Paddle Academy. At the age of 18, he began competing in the International Tennis Federation's Futures tournaments. Among the high level players against whom he competed was Alex de Minaur, who in January 2019 was ranked the 28th best men's singles player in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
A year later, Serrano began his American adventure: He moved to Maryville, Missouri to study at Northwest Missouri State University and play on its NCAA Division II tennis team. During the 2017-2018 academic year, he played doubles and singles for the university team.
After two years in the United States, Serrano discovered SLU-Madrid, which offered him the opportunity to continue his American university degree while working toward achieving a Spanish national ranking that would allow him to compete in the ITF Futures again.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity that SLU has given me,” he said. “I really want to do well both in the classroom and on the court!”