Tennis pro wins doubles at open

Matrka also places 2nd in singles play

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— Local tennis pro Marie Matrka picked up a win in women's doubles and finished second in women's singles during the weekend at the Colorado State Open in Denver.

Matrka - who is a tennis pro at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs - also made it to the semifinals in mixed doubles with fellow Tennis Center pro Andy Caress.

Matrka and Caress played in the open division, which brought some of the best players from across the state to compete.

Caress made it to the semifinals in men's doubles before losing to the No. 1 seed, and to the round of 16 in singles.

Matrka lost in the singles finals to second-ranked Ute Schnoy - a University of Denver player - but got redemption in the women's doubles semifinals, downing Schnoy and her partner, Bhavani Pirutmurti, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

"She was a good player," Matrka said of Schnoy. "She brought her A game, and she played well."

In women's doubles, Matrka teamed up with Natalie Dunn of Fort Collins. Dunn is a sophomore at Poudre High School and finished fourth at No. 1 singles in Class 5A last year.

Matrka didn't have a partner heading into the doubles portion of the tournament, so she scoured the singles draws to find someone who didn't have a doubles partner. The night before the tournament began, Matrka contacted Dunn, and the two hooked up and won the tournament.

They were the 14th seed to start the tournament and quickly moved through the bracket. After beating Schnoy and her partner in the semis, Matrka and Dunn beat the top-seeded team of Tiffany Clifford and Marielle Weihs - also a team comprised of University of Denver players - 7-5, 7-5.

"Winning doubles was unexpected," Matrka said. "I've always been a better doubles player. But going with a partner that I've never played with before, I was doing the doubles more for fun. It was definitely a surprise."

Matrka also said it was fun to team up with Caress. While the two played tennis together at Coastal Carolina in South Carolina, collegiate tennis doesn't feature a mixed doubles format.

"The only time we get to play together is in a tournament like this," Matrka said. "We both looked forward to the mixed doubles. It's fun to be able to play that type of competition, because we don't get to do that very often."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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