The Baldwin School junior recently captured the Inter-Ac girls tennis singles tournament title. The top-seeded player in the field, she won all three of her matches, 8-1, 8-2 and 8-2, and she defeated the No. 2 seed, Springside Chestnut Hill’s Leah Thomas, 8-2, in the championship final. Baldwin tennis head coach Antonio Fink said, “Bella is devoted, disciplined, hard-working and fierce. She knows how to play defense when pressured, manages to neutralize the point, then sneaks in for a high swinging volley winner. Bella is focused and very intense, she finds the opponent’s weakness and exploits it all match long. She is quick and strong and loves to battle on the tennis court. Bella is an amazing athlete and a brilliant tennis player.”
Q: What is your strongest memory of the Inter-Ac singles tournament?
A: Thank you so much! I’d say that representing Baldwin in the finals was especially memorable. Having Coach Fink, my dad, and my friends staying with me and supporting me throughout the tournament helped me stay confident and mentally strong to finish the day with a success.
Q: What do you think has been your best match of the season to date, and what was the key to your success in that match?
A: I’d say that my recent match against Agnes Irwin’s first singles was my best match of the season so far. I believe the key to my success was staying light on my feet, swinging through the ball, and not being afraid to play aggressively.
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game have you worked on the most recently?
A: I think my athleticism and my mentality are the strongest parts of my game. It’s really important to me to maintain a positive attitude because I’ve realized that it really keeps me focused on my game and helps me to continue fighting for every ball. My footwork and athleticism have also contributed to my game and I really depend on it when I play.
Q: Who are your favorite tennis players? Do you try to pattern your game after any of them?
A: My favorite tennis players are Iga Swiatek and Jannik Sinner. I study their game and oftentimes try to implement some of their strategies into my own playing when I compete.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in tennis. Who have been your top tennis mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I started playing tennis when I was eight years old, and my dad has always been my toughest but most supportive coach since then. He’s taught me the value of commitment and work ethic and the importance of stroke mechanics. I have also spent time working with Flo Ionescu, helping me develop a more steady and aggressive game style. I’d say that the most valuable advice for me was to trust and commit to my shots.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-match preparation the day of a match.
A: On the day of a tournament match, I make sure I get around eight hours of sleep, eat a healthy meal beforehand and arrive at the match site an hour beforehand. I always have a match warm-up routine which includes a dynamic warm-up and time to get the feel for the courts.
Q: What is your favorite tennis venue, and why?
A: My favorite tennis venue is the Barnes Tennis Center in California. I love this center because of its high quality courts and amazing weather, given its location. I also greatly appreciate how there were chair umpires on every court and there was a food cafe there too.
Q: What is your favorite academic course at Baldwin School? What do you think you might like to major in at college?
A: My favorite academic course is AT Chemistry. While I do not know what I specifically want to major in at the moment, I do know that I have a love for math and sciences.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Baldwin School other than tennis?
A: FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), TSA (Technology Students Association), and ASA (Asian Student Association).
Fun facts — Bella Hu
Favorite book: Cracked by K.M Walton.
Favorite author: Colleen Hoover.
Favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory.
Favorite movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Favorite athlete: Iga Swiatek.
Favorite pre-match pump-up song: Headlines.
Favorite team: Baldwin tennis team.
Favorite place to visit: Phoenix, Arizona.
Favorite pre-match meal: Wawa sub.
Person I most admire, and why: “My brother because of his work ethic and drive.”
Family members: Dad, Mom, older brother Daniel, and dog Lala.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
To view a gallery of the previous Main Line Girls Athletes of the Week click here
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