- School: UC Santa Barbara
- Year Graduated: 2019
- Current Job: Professional Tennis Player (ATP #580)
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran was born in New York, New York on July 14, 1997. During high school, he attended Ibstock Place School in London and graduated in 2015. Based on his junior results, Nicolas became the #14 incoming recruit for the United States.
During his time at UCSB, Moreno de Alboran played most of his matches at #1 and #2 singles. He was named to the Big-West First Team all four years and was ranked as high as #63 in the country his junior year. His senior year at UCSB was his most successful, as he reached a career high ranking of #6 in the country. He achieved this ranking by reaching the finals of the Oracle Masters tournament. He was also named an ITA All-American in singles and participated in the NCAA individual tournament in both singles and doubles. He was named the Big West Player of the Year for both his junior and senior years, as well as UCSB Male Athlete of the Year his senior year.
After his time at UCSB, Moreno de Alboran started playing professionally. In his career, Moreno de Alboran has won two futures doubles titles. He currently sits at his career high ranking of #580 in the world, training in Spain.
Personally, I have known Nicolas since he was a freshman at UCSB, as I took him down in a tight futures qualifying match I’m sure he still remembers :). Nicolas is one of the harder working and disciplined guys I have met during my time on tour. He truly believes that he has what it takes to make it to the top, and he does, so watch out for this name over the next few years. Enjoy our interview with Nicolas!
7 Questions With Nicolas Moreno de Alboran
#1) What was your recruiting/school selection process like?
Firstly, I’d like to mention to all players getting recruited that, for me, the recruiting process was hectic, so if you are feeling like that, don’t worry because it is normal. I lived in Europe [for most of juniors] and didn’t grow up with a so-called “dream school” so when I was getting recruited, I remember that I was very stressed out but at the same time it was very exciting. I committed to UC Santa Barbara in March of my senior year of high school after a year and a half of talking to and visiting different schools.
Some schools started talking to me when I was a sophomore in high school, but I didn’t pay too much attention because I wanted to focus on finishing high school and my junior career. I probably talked to a total of 9 schools but only truly considered 3 of them (UT Austin, Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara). In my opinion, the most important thing to focus on when looking at a school is the relationship players have with the coaches. I’m a pretty easy going guy and I get along with everyone so I knew that fitting into a team wouldn’t be a problem, but I wanted to make sure that I liked the coaches and their mentality. Especially the head coach, because assistant coaches tend to transfer and move around a lot. A lot of kids focus on how much clothes they get, how many pair of shoes they get, and how big the changing room is; at the end of the day I think those are all secondary factors that once you are in school, you realize they don’t matter at all.
Overall, if you are at the recruiting stage, just try and play your best junior tennis possible, focus on finishing high school and don’t stress too much about recruiting because 99% of the time you end up where you belong and you won’t regret your decision.
Enjoy the journey and enjoy that part of your life because you only get recruited once in your life. Before you know it, you are walking at your graduation!
#2) What was your favorite moment/story/aspect of college?
I’ve had a lot of beautiful moments in college, both individually and as a collective team. However, I think that my favorite moments are without a doubt competing next to your teammates, travelling as a team, team dinners, team losses, team victories, just overall the team aspect. Tennis is such an individual sport, and you may have already experienced traveling alone as a junior all over the world. Well, imagine that with 9 or 10 of your best friends, with the same goal, ambitions, motivation…nothing beats it.
For me, at UC Santa Barbara, my favorite moment was winning our conference tournament all 4 years I was there. It had only been done once by another Gaucho, but my doubles partner and I won it 4 years in a row. It was always an incredible feeling after a long season to finish on a high, qualify for the NCAA tournament, and celebrate with the team.
#3) How did college tennis prepare you for the rest of your career/life?
College tennis is not only amazing from the tennis perspective, but for academics and personal growth too. For college tennis, well, you play over 35 matches a year, train with a group of guys every day, lift weights 3 or 4 times a week…it speaks for itself, can’t get much better than that.
Then you have the student aspect. It is for sure challenging at times, but the reward is huge. You learn to become disciplined managing different things at once, you are constantly learning about something you are passionate about (not like high school), you meet a bunch of incredibly smart people that are willing to help you with whatever you have going on, and then of course, you are in college, you get to meet a bunch of students that are all on the same boat as you, it’s a lot of fun!
After graduating, I can safely say that I am prepared to not only pursue a tennis career, but also continue studying if I want to (masters), or work anywhere in the world. I feel this way because as a student athlete you are open to so many doors and you meet people from all over the world, which helps you to mature and grow as an individual.
#4) A lot of juniors and parents worry that tennis will suffer because of the academic demands of college. What advice would you give an 18-year old in terms of balancing academics and tennis?
It was very interesting for me, because when I had my hardest classes I played my best tennis. I think that having your priorities straight is extremely important. My priorities were, in order, school, tennis, social life. If I got those mixed up, all three of them would suffer. I remember that when I studied hard and gave my 100% in class, I would come to practice with so much energy and enthusiasm, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about homework, tests, or an assignment. You learn to balance academics and tennis, especially because the universities offer students so much help in order to get good grades. We had tutors that would help us with classes and academic advisors who helped you plan your academic career. Additionally, you have your teammates who might be in the same class as you so you help each other out with notes, readings, and homework.
#5) Another thing we see parents worrying about is how the social component of college will affect their kids tennis. What would you tell an 18-year old going to college in regards to having fun without compromising their tennis/academics?
As I said before, I think having a balance in life is extremely important. I have friends that have gone to universities where tennis was their main thing and have “burnt out” towards the end of their college careers. College tennis is only 4 years, so it is important to make the most out of that. In my opinion, a student must take advantage of the faculty working at the university: they are all leading individuals in their fields and one can learn so much from them. A student must also meet new people and socialize. There are so many students from all over the world at each university. I remember I used to love meeting people from Australia or Asia, or even people from parts of the US that I haven’t been too. It gave me a feeling of personal growth, getting to know other cultures and societies.
#6) Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you were starting college again today?
I would for sure not have stressed out so much when I was getting recruited. I think that college coaches put so much pressure on players to commit to their schools. Just take it step by step and enjoy the process. Also, I was able to graduate a quarter early, so if I had to do everything again, I would of tried to do my undergraduate in 3 years and studied a masters in my senior year. I don’t know if that would have been too challenging, but I could have tried.
#7) In your case, why did you think that college tennis was a good option as opposed to going directly to the pro tour?
What I benefitted most from college tennis was the amount of tennis training and match play I got while getting a degree. If my pro tennis career doesn’t work out for me I can always fall back on a degree and psychologically that is very assuring. I think that if I were to compare my tennis level as a freshman to my level as a senior, it’s a completely different world. The way I play my tennis hasn’t changed much in terms of tactics and patterns, however I am a lot more mature and experienced on court. In my opinion those 2 are so valuable to being a good tennis player and you can only get that by playing a bunch of matches. So why not do that with a group of guys? Trust me, professional tennis can be very lonely at times, so enjoy the team aspect while you can!