Tennis tourney kicks off today

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— The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs will host its biggest and one of its most competitive tournaments today.

Starting at 3 p.m. and running through Sunday, the Tennis Center will play host to a USTA-sanctioned tournament based on NTRP levels.

NTRP levels disregard age and are solely based on how good a player is.

"1.0 would be your beginners and 7.0 would be your Roger Federers," Tennis Center Director Jim Swiggart said

The tournament in Steamboat will feature players with abilities between 3.0 and 5.0.

"Traditionally, we get some of the best players in Colorado playing," Swiggart said.

The tournament will feature a player's party Saturday evening, with championship matches beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday and continuing throughout the day.

This will mark the first year the Tennis Center will hold the tournament with six completed indoor courts.

Twenty-five local players are expected to be among more than 170 in the tournament. Swiggart said he expects players from as far away as Minnesota.

This tournament and the senior sectionals are the two most competitive tournaments that take place at the Tennis Center, Swiggart said.

Swiggart said the level of play - especially at the 4.5 and 5.0 levels - will be significantly high.

"With the 4.5 and 5.0 players it will be tough to tell the difference between them and the people that are on television," Swiggart said. "It's free for spectators and we'd love to have them."

Courts will still be available for the public to rent, weather permitting, Swiggart said. He also wanted to remind people interested in fall leagues, the junior tennis academy and short court tennis (ages five to seven) that registration is now open. To sign up, or for more information, visit the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

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