Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs tennis player Callum Richman said unforced errors and poor serves cost him a chance to play today for the championship of the USTA Intermountain 12 and Under Memorial Day tournament at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
Richman may have fallen in both the singles and doubles semifinal matches of the tournament, but his play throughout the tournament was a big step forward, tournament director Jim Swiggart said.
"This is probably the strongest competition Callum has ever played against," Swiggart said. "He did well because he brought a lot of what he's been taught to the court. He proved to himself and to the community that he's definitely a player."
Callum, 12, has just two years of tennis under his belt. But he battled into the semis by winning all four matches Saturday, the first day of the three-day tournament.
His run came to an end against the No. 1 seed in the boys division, Andrew Ovard of Draper, Utah. Callum fell, 6-1, 6-1, in the match. He later lost to Jacob Tullis in a consolation bracket contest that would be Callum's final match of the tournament.
"I didn't get my serves in like I should have done, and I kept doing unforced errors," Callum said. "I was tired and my legs hurt, but I had fun. It was good."
That was all after what Callum termed the best run of his short career. He beat Galen Arney, 6-1, 6-0, in the opening round, then Ryan Kempin, 6-3, 6-2, to advance to Sunday's semifinal.
He also advanced to the semifinals in the doubles bracket, playing with Creel Smith of Jackson, Wyo. The pair lost their semifinal match, 8-4, falling to a team comprised of Ovard and Jesse Ruder-Hook, who will play each other today for the boys singles title.
"I just kept getting the ball back, and my serves were going in," Callum said of his Saturday wins. "I just felt good. I made sure that they made the mistakes and I didn't."
Local players Kate Cooper, Rachel Grubbs and Isaiah Maynard also competed in the tournament, though no Steamboat players advanced to play in today's final round, which begins at 8 a.m. today at the Tennis Center.
Swiggart earns finals trip
Steamboat Springs' Jamey Swiggart, playing in a 14-and-under tournament in Salt Lake City, upset the No. 2 seed to advance Sunday to play in the finals. Swiggart, 13, won the match, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5.