Written By: Judy Choi
May 12, 2015
Growing up in a family of tennis players, Melissa Pick was destined to follow the family tradition. “I used to get super jealous of my sister, Lauren, because I would just watch her play in the tournaments, and I wanted to be the one playing,” Pick said.
Since hitting her first shot at age four, Pick has plowed through her tennis career, competing in major national tournaments, like the 2014 National Selection in San Antonio and Midland, and even playing internationally at the West Brigford Junior Open in Nottingham, England.
Pick’s accomplishments at the state level include being the all-metro champion, the recipient of the NM Sportsmanship Award, the NM Female Player of the Year, and a four-time state champion for both doubles and singles. At the national level, she is ranked 76th in the nation for the 18 and under category, and was nominated this year for the Junior Athletics Scholarship Award, an annual award granted to non-homeschooled students ranked in the top 100 in the nation. “It recognizes the students who play tennis and go to school and maintain a good GPA,” she said.
Despite these honors, Pick remains humble both on and off the court, meriting the friendship of her Academy peers, as well as of her fellow tennis players. Pick’s perky and vivacious personality not only helps her stand out among them, but has also brought talented friends into her life whose homes range from the East Mountains to international locations. “Tennis is my second school – I meet people around Albuquerque who I wouldn’t know if I hadn’t played tennis,” she said. “I get to meet a lot of people across the country and the world while playing the sport I love. It’s amazing, and I love that.”
Even for Pick, who always seems exuberant and tireless, moments of fatigue sometimes kick in. “When I don’t want to go to practice, my mom pushes me to go out there and try my best because she knows that I’m going to be tired for a lot of matches and that I just have to push through it,” she said. Pick’s mother, whom Pick attributes as her biggest supporter, guides her in all important aspects of Pick’s life, including applying to colleges, looking into Division I tennis, traveling for tournaments, and maintaining a healthy mental state. “My parents are happy to do whatever I need. They will take me to tournaments, wherever they are held," Pick said.
Pick has an impressive future ahead of her, planning for playing division I tennis in college. She credits her parents for all of her success on and off the court, believing that their influence and encouragement brought her to where she is today. "They support me through anything, especially through tough losses and tough matches, and I appreciate them for that."