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With his tennis dreams shattered, Alvaro Nunez transformed himself — here's how

With his tennis dreams shattered, Alvaro Nunez transformed himself — here's how

The dreams of young tennis stars often change as they attempt to go professional. One amazing example is that of Alvaro Nunez, a Miami-based real estate magnate with one million followers on Instagram. I caught up with Alvaro at the LiveLong Summit before he gave a rousing inspirational speech to a packed house in the West Palm Beach Convention Center. 

Long before he founded high-profile Super Luxury Group in Miami, Alvaro was a competitive junior player in Madrid training to play pro tennis. Alvaro had two main objectives at the time — excelling academically and dominating the tennis courts. "Those were the two things that I was doing, going to school and getting good grades and playing tennis and winning tournaments," he recalls. 

However, as with many aspiring junior players, Alvaro faced a pivotal decision at the age of 16. Spain, unlike the United States, doesn't offer athletic scholarships. "It's either I just focus full-time on becoming a professional tennis player and travel around the world or go to a [Spanish] university and study, and there is no in-between," he explains. This decision was further complicated by a global financial downturn which decimated his father's career.

Above: Alvaro Nunez sits down privately for an interview with Florida Tennis at the LiveLong Summit in West Palm Beach. Photo: Florida Tennis.

In turn, Alvaro's family and coaching team decided it best for Alvaro to move to the United States on a full tennis scholarship during these tumultuous times. It symbolized a fresh start, an opportunity to chase the American dream while continuing to pursue his love for tennis. "So, we kind of found the in-between and I decided to move to the States with a full ride," Alvaro explains of his move Western New Mexico University.

Upon arriving in New Mexico, Alvaro's dream encountered another hurdle. A few weeks into his new journey, he broke his foot — an injury that threatened to end his tennis career prematurely. "The coach had no choice but to take my scholarship away because I was not going to play for many months," Alvaro remembers. 

Yet, it was in the face of adversity, Alvaro demonstrated his true mettle. Instead of succumbing to despair, he sought out alternative scholarships and worked diligently to heal, showcasing his resilience to overcome life's unexpected challenges. He went on to become captain of the tennis team.

However, Alvaro later changed sports after college. He transitioned to ultra-marathons and Ironman competitions driven by a desire to use pain as fuel for progress. "So it was right there where I took that opportunity of being in such a painful situation, to fuel something to take me even farther," he explained.

Alvaro recently completed what’s considered the toughest footrace on earth, Marathon des Sables, six marathons in six days carrying your own food and supplies across the Sahara Desert. 

In discussing lessons learned from ultra-endurance sports, Alvaro says, "Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy like you're such a grateful human. Do this when you appreciate what you do and you're being present." His new book, Level Up, reveals more about his inspirational story. Alvaro's not only a real estate magnate and ultra runner, he's also become a helicopter pilot, mountain climber, and skydiver too.

Alvaro Nunez's journey from young tennis hopeful to seasoned ultra-marathon runner showcases the ability to transition away from tennis and remain a successful athlete. His story is a reminder that at the heart of any true competitor is someone who's always ready to face the next hurdle with determination and grace.


Written by Florida Tennis' Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman. Book Cover showcased in top banner courtesy of Alvaro Nunez.

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