Wednesday, August 18, 2004
With 305 players, this weekend's National Tennis Rating Program tournament will be one of the biggest of the summer.
"This is the largest ski-resort tennis tournament in the country," said Jim Swiggart, the Tennis Center's director.
Sanctioned by the U.S. Tennis Association, the event will feature many of the top players from across the region playing in divisions from 3.0 to 5.0. Divisions will include men's and women's singles and doubles, as well as mixed doubles. Almost 30 players from Steamboat Springs will play this weekend, but the majority of the field will come from out of town, Swiggart said.
The NTRP tournaments are appealing because players can earn or improve their national rankings based on their results during the season, Swiggart said.
The tournament is also popular because Steamboat Springs is such a great destination, he said.
"A lot of these players are coming just because it's in Steamboat Springs," Swiggart said. " I can't think of a more beautiful place to hold a tournament, and players can bring their families for a vacation."
Play will take place on the Tennis Center's four indoor and six outdoor clay courts. The center's four outside hard courts also will be used.
But Steamboat's largest tennis facility will not be big enough to host the entire event alone.
In the early rounds players will be dispersed across the city using three courts at Walton Village, two courts at Snow Flower, two at The Ranch at Steamboat and two at Trappeur's Crossing.
The tournament headquarters will be at the Tennis Center and play is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today.
-To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209
or e-mail email@example.com