Born March 11, 1990 Benito Jose Suriano grew up in San Salvador, El Salvador, where he represented his country in the Davis Cup. He joined the University of Utah men’s tennis team in August 2008. While serving as the team’s captain the past two seasons, he mainly competed at the #1 singles position. For his excellence on the court he was named to the 2011 Mountain West All-Conference Team in singles.
Benito will graduate in May with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. A look back at the last four years with lone Senior and team captain Benito Suriano.
QUESTION: Almost a year ago, you tore your ACL in your knee. How is your knee? How has your recovery been?
SURIANO: The recovery has definitely been really hard both physically and mentally. I think that the biggest struggle was the inability to move the way I used to for six months. It’s really a waiting game, but it’s patience and perseverance that gets you through all the slopes all the way back to the top. Thanks to all the people around me, coaches, teammates, ahtletics department that inspired me to work hard every single day to regain all the functions of my leg to be able to defend the Utes colors for one more year.
QUESTION: Now that you have played your last home match, what will be your best memory at home?
SURIANO: I have many great memories playing at home. However, you can’t ever forget the experience of playing the school down south on our home turf, the feeling is just electrifying. I closely remember clinching the doubles point with Stephen Jacobs, my freshman year, in a really hard fought doubles match. The crowd played an important role on helping us pull that one through. However that was just part of one of the best weekends we played as a team, hosting TCU, BYU and UNLV in the same weekend and beating them all, placing us in a great position to clinch the conference championship.
QUESTION: Four years have gone by fast, how will you look back at your years at the U?
SURIANO: I’m going to look back at these four years that just passed and remember them with great affection. Coming to school to Utah is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. On top of the fact that I have a chance of graduating with a degree in one of the fastest growing schools in the nation and of competing at a very high level of tennis, it has made me part of a great family, and it has been great to be part of it. Even though it is not always a smooth ride (ups and downs do happen), you come to realize that those are the little details that make you become a better person and what brings you closer as a team. I’ve also lived through a bunch of experiences that separate me from regular students like traveling around the nation and leading a group of guys under the same flag and fighting towards a common goal.
QUESTION: Although this season isn’t over yet, how does this team compare to the other teams you have played on?
SURIANO: Well, I’ve always had the luck of competing next to a really great group of guys. The team synergy and comradery has always been present in every single team that I have been part of. I think that the main difference between this year’s team and teams from previous years lies in the fact that we have a more solid lineup. In every single position of this year’s team you are going to find a really talented individual, who has worked hard enough to be successful at whatever position he is playing.
QUESTION: What are your plans after graduation? Will there be any tennis in your life?
SURIANO: After graduation, I’m going to continue my growth as a Mechanical Engineer and in a couple of years I’m shooting to get a Masters Degree. Of course there is going to be tennis in my life, just not in such a competitive environment. The ATP Tour is very physically demanding and my constant struggles with injuries doesn’t make my life as a pro player any easier. Hopefully El Salvador lets me represent its colors again in the Davis Cup, but beyond that, my tennis plans are very scarce.
QUESTION: What would you tell students who are contemplating attending the U?
SURIANO: The U is a great school were you can grow academically, athletically or in whatever way you want to reach your maximum potential. This school possesses a great environment to study, train and of course… have fun. The resources offered in this school also facilitates your life as a student-athlete. Your life is always going to be packed with activities but the staff and the people around you are always going to help make the road a smoother one to travel on.