Lopez gets scholarship in United States
One of Barbados’ top tennis prodigies is taking her talents stateside.
Hard-hitting southpaw Melena Lopez will be realising one of her dreams later this month after receiving a full four-year scholarship to attend the University of Northwestern Ohio for the upcoming fall semester.
Lopez’s camp announced the news on the heels of the Fed Cup player’s encouraging showing in St Lucia, where she appeared in the semi-finals of both the singles and doubles draw of an ITF event.
“It was a difficult choice,” admitted the teenaged lefty.
“I had many offers to choose from but the coach at Ohio was the most persistent and offered a really good package.
“It was a family decision too as the offers were from all over the USA, from as far west as California to Florida, as well as [my sister] Kristen’s alma mater in Delaware, but I felt I wanted to go somewhere different,” she added.
Holding a world ranking of 647, Lopez will be aiming to get a business degree with a speciality in marketing, following in the footsteps of older siblings Kristen (Delaware State) and Gabriella (Temple), who all received scholarships in the United States.
“We are very proud of Melena [because] she has worked hard on the courts and at times sacrificed parties and school in order to travel,” said Lopez’s father and coach, Sydney.
“Once you get that organised there are a lot of opportunities out there for players to go onto college in the USA [so] it’s a pity there are few girls playing as there are a slew of colleges looking for decent players.
“Next year we will have a lot of boys in a position to go off on scholarships and hopefully the contacts that we have forged will get them where they want to go,” he added. (JM)?