Adult tourney brings USTA tennis action to Steamboat

— The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs will serve up a more experienced brand of tennis this weekend during the United States Tennis Association's Inter--mountain Senior Sectional.

The event is sponsored by Alpine Bank and features the top tennis players age 35 and older in the region.

This year's tournament drew 144 players, slightly less than last year's field. The tournament will begin Friday morning and wrap up Sunday with the championship matches and playoffs for third and fourth place.

"It's the people who come to this tournament that make it fun," said Jim Swiggart, tennis center director. "We get a lot of people who come back for this tournament year after year. The players come from all around the intermountain region and the level of play is extremely high."

Players will be split into age divisions starting at 35 and ranging to 75. The players come from a six state area that includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Nevada.

Matches will be played on all but two of the tennis center's 14 available courts this weekend, includeing eight outdoor courts and four indoors. Two outdoor hard courts will be set aside for non-tournament play.

Spectators are invited to come out and watch matches. Singles matches will be played in the morning, doubles in the afternoon and mixed doubles in the evenings.

Swiggart thinks that last year's construction my have reduced the number of players in this weekend's field, but he is confident that the newly refurbished tennis center will attract even more players next summer.

"Normally, it takes a year to see how different things will impact a tournament," Swiggart said. "We didn't have mixed doubles last summer, and we are feeling it now. "

He said he expects more players for the tournament next summer because of the improvements at the tennis center.

This year's field will include 11 local players with the remainder of the field coming from across the region.

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