What a racket

Tennis Center hosts tournament

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The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs hosts the 2003 National Tennis Rating Program Tennis Championships through Sunday.

The tournament, with 300 participants from across the country, began Thursday and will take up the clay and hard courts at the Tennis Center, as well as the courts at Walton Village, Snowflower, Trappeur's Crossing and Catamount Ranch and Club.

Tournament director Jim Swiggart extended his thanks to the facilities for providing use of their courts in order to ensure the event would happen.

Twenty-eight Steamboat residents are in the field, but this weekend's tournament, the fifth largest held in Colorado during the summer months, pulls numerous out-of-state players looking for a tennis and vacation package.

California, Minnesota, Iowa and Florida are just a few of the states represented in this weekend's brackets.

The difference between Steamboat's NTRP Tennis Championships and other tournaments hosted by the Tennis Center is the way the brackets are divided.

Usually, players are separated by age. This weekend, the brackets are based on skill.

All tennis players are ranked, from rank beginners with a 1.0 rating to 7.0 players such as Andre Agassi and Serena Williams.

Players holding a ranking of 5.5 to 6.5 often compete at the collegiate level or on satellite tours, Swiggart said.

This weekend, there will be 5.0 level players on the courts in Steamboat.

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