Athlete of the Week: Stefan Suarez, Men’s Tennis



Athlete of the Week: Stefan Suarez, Men’s Tennis

Greg Welsh

For most, a typical family gathering will consist of plenty of food and some hearty conversation. But for Villanova sophomore Stefan Suarez, familial assemblies often began with something a little different: Doubles matches. 

Born and raised in the Philippines, Suarez credits his parents for getting him started in tennis. As he looks back on his childhood, he realizes that it was only natural he became a tennis player, given his family’s obvious love for the sport. 

Since the days of those family doubles matches, Suarez has certainly come a long way, both in terms of physical distance and tennis ability. Over 8,000 miles away from his hometown of Makati City, Suarez has risen to Villanova’s number one singles spot in his second year at the University.  

Although he frequently played for fun as a younger child, it was not until the age of 15 that Suarez, motivated by the goal of playing for the Philippine Junior Davis Cup team, first started to take the sport seriously. He began by competing across the Philippines, but, before long, he was playing throughout the continent of Asia, pursuing a world ranking while playing International Tennis Federation events. 

“Ultimately, I hoped this pursuit would lead to me having the opportunity to play college tennis in the United States,” Suarez said. 

Sure enough, the occasion arose, as Suarez was given the chance to play at either Villanova or UConn. In the end, Villanova’s tremendous Business School, along with the culture of the tennis team, convinced Suarez that the Main Line was the place for him.

“At Villanova, I envisioned myself developing as a tennis player and as a person,” Suarez said, speaking about the reasoning behind his decision. “I thought everyone on the [tennis] team was welcoming, and they all seemed to share the same goal of personal development and success.”

A double major in Finance and Business Analytics, Suarez certainly embodies the complete person he strives to be. Outside of tennis, the VSB student enjoys traveling, eating and reading online news stories and novels. 

Although he is a long way from home, Suarez has transitioned to the United States rather seamlessly, something he attributes to the culture of Villanova as a whole.  

“The people and professors at school have all been so friendly,” Suarez said. “All of the professors that I’ve had not only care about me as a student, they care about my development as a person as well.”  

Suarez has thoroughly enjoyed his experience on the court as well, particularly the chance college tennis has provided him to continually square off against stiff competition. He feels he is in the best shape of his life, something he chalks up to the focus on fitness by head coach Brad Adams. Suarez’s commitment to improvement has paid off, as he has already been named Big East Player of the Week twice during his college career, once last spring and once this winter. 

Although there has already been a lot of great experiences, Suarez says his favorite moment on the team thus far came at last year’s Big East Tournament, when he was able to notch wins for the team in both his doubles and singles matches. 

“Despite having not played my best coming into that match, I was able to believe in my training and play my game, ultimately pulling through,” Suarez said. 

In spite of his accomplishments so far, Suarez has loftier goals in mind for the future. He hopes one day to lead the Wildcats to a Big East Championship, a feat the program has yet to accomplish. With the eager and talented Suarez leading the way, Villanova’s time may finally be coming.