Breckenridge serves up statewide tennis challenge |

Breckenridge serves up statewide tennis challenge

Janice Kurbjun
summit daily news

Breckenridge was the fifth stop on this year’s inaugural Colorado Cup Tennis Challenge, a circuit of tennis tournaments that encompasses some of the best-run and best-attended tennis competitions around the state.

Adult recreational players showed up in Breck on Friday to play in the two-day, single-elimination tournament. Some had signed up to play in the entire series, which started in Littleton in April before heading to Parker and Fort Collins in May. The tour hits Westminster this month as well as Arvada and Colorado Springs in July, Boulder and Steamboat Springs in August and Denver in October.

Players in Breckenridge’s finals on Sunday were served up a tough day with the wind.

“It’s been a real challenge for these finalists,” Colorado Cup coordinator Rick Bolin said. “You want to play your best tennis. It couldn’t be any more sunny and warm out there, but that wind can sure play havoc on your serve.”

Players can sign up for multiple tournaments, as Denver’s Marcela Rascon did, or sign up for a single event, as did roughly half of the Breck tournament participants.

Rascon has been to all but the Fort Collins tournament so far, and plans to continue. A 4.0-rated player on the National Tennis Rating Program, she’s among the better players in the state, and made it to the finals in women’s singles and semifinals in women’s doubles in her group.

“It’s just fun. It’s social and it brings a nice community of players that are interested in making (tennis) better,” Rascon said. As for the Breckenridge tournament, “It was small, but it was good. The weather was perfect, and I came with a bunch of other friends … from Denver.”

The Breckenridge tournament has been running for about two decades, mostly under the direction of John O’Connor. This year, O’Connor opted to sign on with the Colorado Cup circuit, and estimates its partnership increased event participation by 20 percent.

This year, it drew 81 participants, 60 percent of whom were from out of town, and the rest hailed from Summit County, Bolin said.

“I was more than happy to jump in with all the other prestigious areas that are part of the cup,” O’Connor said. “They are well-attended and at really nice areas. Everyone is excited about those other tournaments too.”

It’s also meant to give players a circuit on which to focus. The tournaments are knit together, and since it’s a ready-made circuit, they can sign on and be insured of seeing the top players from around the state, getting the top level of competition, Bolin said, adding that it’s also meant to be fun.

“It’s a tour that gets out to the most interesting places in Colorado. I was excited to get Breckenridge included,” he said. “In my opinion, Colorado is the most beautiful state in the nation. It gives us permission, an excuse to take advantage of these uniquely Colorado tennis opportunities.”

Bolin praised Breckenridge Recreation Center’s facilities, saying, “It’s rare in Colorado to play on outdoor clay … and outdoor hard courts in such a beautiful setting, as well as indoor courts.”

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