WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — It's no secret, the men's tennis program at William & Mary has been steady, but academically, they've been impressive. One in particular has been downright stellar.
During Chen Ruo's time with the Tribe tennis team has been good. The graduate student posted a 17-10 singles record in his final three seasons in Williamsburg. As for school...unbelievable. Ruo was one of six Tribe players named to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic team. "It's managable. I struggled once every two weeks", he says matter of factly.
For the native of Zheijang, China, it was his 4th time. Not bad for someone from a tennis family that had slight problems balancing the sport and academics while he was in middle school.
"I would skip classes like that's not acceptable in a traditional Chinese school", he says. "Teachers didn't like me. Sometimes I'd sleep in class, because the (tennis) training from the day before gets me really exhausted."
By the time he got to the United States for high school and later William & Mary, things came together. Ruo got his undergrad in applied mathematics with a minor in finance. He then would get his masters in computer science all while holding down a grade point average that was just north of 3.5, and wouldn't trade anything for the experience.
"I think it's just one of those things when you look back when your 40 and you go 'Oh! I was pretty good at school'", he joked. "I don't think it's nothing more than that. A GPA is just a number. It just shows how hard you tried honestly. It doesn't show how smart you are."