Cari Pugh prepares to hit a return Sunday during the City Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Cari Pugh prepares to hit a return Sunday during the City Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Tennis tournament in Steamboat draws heap of locals

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— Steamboat Springs dug out of a weekend snowstorm Sunday, but there was nothing frosty going on in the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, where the action was hot for the final frame of the three-day City Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships.

“Everyone’s playing their friends. Everyone’s happy to be on the court,” Tennis Center Director Jim Swiggart said as heated battles ranged on the courts around him.

“There’s an awful lot of smiles going around,” he said.

This year’s championships marked the 20th anniversary at the center, and the event drew 91 competitors, the same as last year.

Many of the competitors were playing through rematches they commonly do throughout the year, battling friends they see across the net week in and week out. There’s always something different about those matches in the tournament, however, and the event has a way of bringing the entire tennis-playing community out, even those who aren’t there week in and week out.

“It’s a celebration of tennis in Steamboat,” Swiggart said. “This tournament brings out people who don’t necessarily see each other all year. We see a number who play this, then start coming out for other events.”

The weekend’s winners get their names added to plaques, which now date back 20 years, recording the best tennis players Steamboat has to offer.

Louis Nijsten led the way for this year’s champions, winning the men’s 5.0 singles division with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Grice Hooker on Sunday morning. David Schaller won the men’s 4.5 singles title, edging out Gabri Erspamer in the final match of a round robin format, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(3). Lane Duncan took the men’s 4.0 singles title, and Chris Speer won the 3.5 singles championship, defeating Mark Mathews, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Patrice Lorenzen won the top women’s division, 4.5 singles. Rachel Grubbs was tops in the women’s 4.0 singles division, beating Lisa Nutkin, 6-4, 6-0. Catherine Finch won the women’s 3.5 singles title against Kira Lorenzen, 7-6(5), 6-0.

Stacy Swiggart and Lorenzen won the women’s 4.5 doubles division. Marion Kahn and Lisa Nutkin won the 4.0 doubles division, Patricia O’Brien and Cari Pugh won the women’s 3.5 division, and Mae Greene and Alie Alexander won the women’s 3.0 doubles division.

Nijsten and Luke Farny won the men’s 4.5-5.0 doubles. Bernardo Schwartz and Mark Sutton won the men’s 4.5 doubles, and Kyle Rogers and Karsten Thompson won the men’s 4.0 doubles.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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