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Tennis player strives for excellence

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Tennis player strives for excellence

 Photo provided by Julia Melendez

Photo provided by Julia Melendez

Photo provided by Julia Melendez

Photo provided by Julia Melendez

Michelle Joseph

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Success requires perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all, passion. Dedication to a sport shows a player’s drive to be the best, and that is exactly what one tennis player has.

Julia Navajo-Melendez, physical therapy junior, is an example that dedication does pay off. She is in her second season with the Bobcat tennis team and has transformed into a hard-working player.

The first sport that Navajo-Melendez’s played was soccer, but she developed an interest in tennis at the age of 12. She played tennis for five years in Segovia, Spain until she came to the United States. Navajo-Melendez then transferred from Nicholls State in Louisiana to Texas State.

“I was told I had an opportunity to get a degree and play tennis at the same time,” Navajo-Melendez said. “I prepared myself, took the SAT test and transferred here for more opportunities.”

The transition from Spain was an adjustment for the athlete, but she enjoyed all the changes Texas State offered.

“Nicholls State was very small compared to Texas State and it was a huge difference,” Navajo-Melendez said. “It rains a lot in Segovia and I love the weather in Texas.”

Navajo-Melendez appreciates the support system she has away from home since she does not visit her family often.

“The best feeling is knowing you have support from the athletics department,” Navajo-Melendez said. “Our coach makes sure we have everything we need and that we are ready to compete before every match.”

The athlete’s family misses and appreciates her as well. Her brother, Eduardo Navajo, said he admires the dedication she has for the sport.

“Julia is a very fun person to be around, but she knows how to focus when it comes to tennis,” Navajo said. “She is very good at handling stress in tennis matches. She has always loved the game and listens for ways to improve too.”

Her mother, Carmen Melendez, said her daughter has the determination, willpower, effort and dedication to achieve what she wants in life.

“Julia is very independent which allows her to make the best decisions for herself,” Melendez said. “She is also an amazing girl with a great sense of humor.”

Navajo-Melendez has goals for this season as well as long-term goals for the sport.

“I hope to win conference while I’m here at Texas State, it’s always been a goal of mine,” Navajo-Melendez said. “After that, I hope to continue being involved with tennis as a coach. I have played the game a lot and I want to begin a new path in tennis.”

Navajo-Melendez has important people in her life who influence and contribute to her success as a tennis player.

“My coach from home has been with me since I first started playing tennis,” Navajo-Melendez said. “He has helped me every step of this journey. He taught me perseverance, how to practice every single day and he made sure I was getting better.”

Navajo-Melendez made Texas State her new home, but Spain is where her heart is. The athlete said she misses the little things.

“I miss my mother’s cooking the most, it is an authentic taste,” Navajo-Melendez said. “Normally I have summer school to attend but this summer I am going home, and I can’t wait.”

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