Katie Spencer swings for the ball Sunday during the Steamboat City Singles and Doubles Tournament at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Katie Spencer swings for the ball Sunday during the Steamboat City Singles and Doubles Tournament at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Tennis tournament a hit, sees bump in participation

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Trish O'Brien takes aim Sunday at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

— Sure, sometimes it gets serious. Mostly, that’s not what the 2012 Steamboat Singles and Doubles City Championships is about, at least according to those who took to the courts Sunday in the weekend-long event's final day at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

The championships were up for grabs in the final rounds, and that took a decidedly back seat in many matches.

“It’s just fun, a friendly competition,” said Trish O’Brien, resting between games of her finals doubles match. “There are no bad feelings, no animosity. It’s just a group of girls all getting together for their personal best.”

This year the tournament drew 78 players, about a 10 percent bump up from last year. The field included nine junior players.

Louis Nijsten and Lisa Nutkin emerged with the majority of the town’s tennis bragging rights.

Nijsten defeated Jim Swiggart, 6-3, 6-2, on Sunday in the top men’s division. He also partnered with brother Stephanus Nijsten to beat Swiggart and Ed Mooney in a thrillingly tight match for the men’s doubles title, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

“I served as well as I’ve served in a long time and I didn’t hit a single ace against him,” Swiggart said. “Louis played really well.”

Nutkin managed the same feat. She edged out Rebecca Lamb, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, to take the top women’s division, then she teamed with Donna Randolph to beat Lamb and Christina Peters, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2, in the doubles bracket.

Elsewhere, Thad Scholl won the men’s 3.5 singles division, beating Danil Sulimov, 6-2, 6-3. Mark Wellstone won the men’s 4.0-4.5 singles, beating Jeremy Dudley, 6-3, 6-4. Patrick Janin and Dave Schuilling won a round-robin bracket for the men’s 3.5 doubles crown, and Kent Foster and Bo Stempel beat Scott Fox and Tripp Hartigan, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, in the men's 4.0 finals.

“It was a bunch of wonderful people and a great turnout,” Swiggart said. “I like all of our local tournaments where we allow juniors to play with adults so they can get that kind of experience. That’s always nice to have and it’s something that’s gratifying.”

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