Family, friends amazed at 90-year-old tennis player - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Family, friends amazed at 90-year-old tennis player

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Winnell Smith Winnell Smith
ATLANTA -

The greatest tennis players in the world wrapped up their season at the U.S. Open this weekend. But in the metro area, there is a tennis legend of our own to brag about.

Rumor has it Winnell Smith is a legend at Rockdale Tennis Center. Some say Smith, 90, can still run circles around her competitors, especially the so-called "Barbies."

"We play Barbies. She just about kills them because they hate the lobs and Winnell is a lobber," said tennis player Alethea Rogers.

Smith picked up a racquet for the first time at age 62.

"I said when I retire I was going to learn to play tennis and play the piano. I never mastered the piano," said Smith.

At 80, Smith was ranked in the state. She's still traveling the country with the her a dance group. Her biggest competitor on the court is herself.

"It's important for her that she's playing a good game. She gets frustrated with herself if she doesn't think she's doing that," said tennis player Anita Carwile.
    
Smith is the epitome of resilience. When her husband of nearly 70 years died a few years ago, she found a new love. His name is Buddy. Family and friends say age is not what amazes them about Smith, it's trying to keeping up with her.

"She's not slowing down anytime soon. I just hope to be playing golf at 70," said Smith's grandson, David Stephens.

"Now we've told her she can renew her contract until 100, so we're gonna start working on that," said a fellow tennis player.

Smith says the secret to her spunkiness at 90 is that she stays busy, she travels, gets lot of rest, eats properly and she trusts in the Lord.

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