Summer Ten­­­nis Champ­ionship hits off Friday in Steamboat

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If you go

What: Players Party dinner and live auction

Where: Catamount Lakehouse Restaurant

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Included in entry fee for players, $25 for extra tickets

Call: The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs at 970-879-8400

— There is apparently no shortage of love for tennis in Steamboat Springs.

The Steamboat Tennis Asso­ciation is preparing to field its largest Summer Ten­­­nis Champ­ionship field. Organizers ex­­pect more than 148 players to compete in Fri­­day, Sat­urday and Sun­­­day’s tournament at the Tennis Cen­­ter at Steam­boat Springs.

The tournament caters to players of all abilities, in­cluding play in singles, doubles and combined partner mixed doubles.

Entry fees include the Players Party dinner and live auction at Catamount Lakehouse Restaurant from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday. All are welcome to bid on the silent auction items.

Those items will be displayed until Friday at the Tennis Center.

“It looks to be a great event,” Tennis Center Director Jim Swiggart said. “I just think our community is willing and eager to support our kids programs, and they do it through supporting the STA.”

The STA is a nonprofit group that helps support and fund youth tennis, scholarships and the Steamboat Springs High School boys and girls tennis teams.

The Summer Tennis Champ­ionships serve as the major fundraising event, with proceeds going to help the high school teams and youth players.

“It’d be difficult without this,” said Don Toy, who with John Aragon coaches the Steamboat boys and girls tennis teams. “Especially paying for court fees and expenses like salaries. Parents would have to pay a lot more. It’s really nice. The community does a nice job in really getting involved with this.”

The tournament usually raises more than $10,000, and without it the Steamboat Springs High School tennis teams and junior programs at the Tennis Center wouldn’t be as successful.

In addition to the fundraising efforts, the Summer Tennis Championships usually provide for some intriguing tennis.

High levels of play come with top high school players and weekend warriors, and the mixed doubles usually allow for married couples, siblings and parent-child teams to finally play together.

The community is welcome to watch the tournament, Swiggart said.

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