Steamboat Springs Ten-year-old Hayden Snyder arrived at last weekend’s 2010 Turkey Shoot Junior Tennis Tournament unranked and unknown.
That didn’t stop the Steamboat Springs player from knocking off several of the state’s top-ranked players en route to winning the tournament.
It was Hayden’s second tournament title this month. He also won a smaller tournament in Grand Junction a few weeks ago and has only recently started playing in tournaments. His 8-year-old brother, Quinn, also played in the 10-year-old division at the Grand Junction Tournament and placed second to his brother. The pair teamed up to take the doubles title in their division at the tournament.
“I play a lot with my brother,” Hayden said. “I usually win because I’m older and have been playing longer. But he wins — sometimes.”
Last weekend in Colorado Springs, it was Hayden that was winning tough matches against some of the state’s top players.
He beat Evergreen’s Victor Berggren, 6-1, 6-0, in the opening match. He then moved past the tournament’s No. 2 seed Christian Ridings, 6-4, 6-4, of Colorado Springs, in the quarterfinals and the No. 3 seed Connor Campbell, 6-1, 6-3, also of Colorado Springs, in the semifinals. In the finals, Hayden faced and beat the No. 1 seed Laird Stewart, of Englewood, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
“I just wanted to have fun and try to stay calm,” Hayden said.
Hayden’s father, Christian, said his son probably will play in more tournaments this winter but will have to balance it with his other interest, hockey.
— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org