Austin Winslow Reflects on Canceled Tennis Season


Austin Winslow, at right, and teammate Stephanie Hass hold the state championship trophy after winning the tournament last year.

Darrah Sheehan, Staff Writer

Austin Winslow, a sophomore, has been putting in effort to make her tennis career as successful as possible for as long as she can remember. Winslow plays tennis at Boar’s Head Sports Club four times a week and practices at Farmington Country Club twice a week when the Western team is not practicing. Austin made the WAHS varsity tennis team her freshman year and usually plays USTA tournaments, commonly used in the college recruiting process. 

With the increase of COVID-19 cases and the cancellation of school, all spring sports were canceled. Austin believed that the WAHS girls team, nicknamed “Gennis,” would have had a lot of success even though they lost some talented seniors from last year. Winslow believed that if the team worked hard enough, they could have had a shot at winning states again. Austin said, “winning [the 3A state championship] last year was such a fun experience especially playing in the lineup as a freshman… the team support was so much more fun than any tournament I have ever done individually”. 

Now that the season is canceled, Winslow is particularly sad that the current seniors did not have a senior season.  

“It’s a really unfortunate situation and I can’t imagine what it feels like to have your last season canceled,” she said.  However, she has kept her hopes up by focusing on her future with tennis. 

During her quarantine, Winslow has been fortunate enough to be able to continue practicing. Austin has a court at her house and is making a significant effort to maintain her cardiovascular fitness and skill. However, Winslow said, “it’s hard without being able to do the same intensity of clinics.”

Austin loves playing doubles because it’s “a less competitive situation and I can just relax and have fun.” However, she also likes singles because she feels like she is in control and can learn from her mistakes and make changes quickly. 

Austin’s favorite tennis player is Ash Barty. Barty is a twenty three year old Australian professional tennis player and is currently ranked number one in the world in singles. Ash is also a top twenty player in doubles. Austin loves to watch her and finds her inspirational because of her work ethic and skill. Her favorite tennis memory is going to New York to watch the US Open tournament. Winslow sees herself playing tennis in college, but is still considering her options for academic reasons.

Winslow’s favorite hobby is baking. Over the years, she has participated in several decorative baking camps and designed intricate cakes. In fact, she started a club this year called Baking a Difference. The club’s goal is to sell as many baked goods as possible and to donate all the proceeds to a nonprofit. Club members select a different nonprofit each bake sale.

 Austin runs the club in collaboration with Cam Winter because Winter’s older sister led a similar club when she attended WAHS. The Baking a Difference club had over sixty students express interest in baking at the club fair in the fall. During her quarantine, Winslow has been baking in her free time, specifically a lot of banana bread, and experimenting with new gluten-free recipes.