Girls tennis: Oswego sophomore Savannah Millard is the Record Newspapers Player of the Year

Oswego's Savannah Millard returns in her match at the Plainfield North Girls Tennis Invite.  Oct 4th, 2023.

Savannah Millard’s Sweet 16 birthday did not go off quite as she would have hoped.

Coinciding with the second day of the state tennis meet on Oct. 20, the Oswego sophomore dislocated her wrist and pulled a ligament during her final match. She fought through tears, battling to the end.

“I’m doing much better now,” Millard said in an interview this week. “I ended up still playing and pushing through because I did not want her to win easy.”

It was at times a very difficult and painful season for Millard both physically and emotionally. It was also her best and most successful on the court.

Her grandmother, her biggest fan and the woman that inspired Millard to take up tennis, passed away in September. Persevering through loss, Millard posted a 29-4 record, took second at conference and sectionals and topped her state finish from freshman year by going 2-2 at state.

For these efforts, Savannah Millard is the Record Newspapers Player of the Year for girls tennis. Here is her Q&A with Joshua Welge.

Welge: Upon reflection how do you feel about your showing at state? What was the best part?

Millard: I believe I definitely improved from last year and making state for my grandma was definitely the highlight. I think there is still things I can work on, but my goal was to do better than last year and I completed the goal.

Welge: Besides state, what will be your best memories of the season?

Millard: My best memories would be definitely the bus rides or the loud music and the naps on the way to matches.

Welge: What are areas of your game that you want to improve on? Are you still practicing a lot?

Millard: Yes, I am still practicing a lot. I think I can keep improving my movement and accuracy. There will always be things where I have to improve but I think that is my focus right now.

Welge: Is there a skill or something that you’re good at that people don’t know about?

Millard: I can play the ukulele and I used to play the guitar.

Welge: If you could have dinner with three people – famous or not – who would they be?

Millard: Drew Starkey, Serena Williams and my dad because he played in the NBA so he’s famous.

Welge: What’s a pet peeve of yours?

Millard: I don’t like when people – my brother – chew with their mouths open but I don’t think I really have many pet peeves.

Welge: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

Millard: I like “Outer Banks” and “Avatar.”

Welge: What’s a good piece of advice you’ve received?

Millard: Don’t let one little moment affect the big picture. As well as “MTXE,” mental toughness extra effort.