Community Hospital Junior Tennis tourney gives youngsters a chance to gauge their progress

Olivia Aslan was ready to try something new.

The Grand Junction 12-year-old participated in a tennis camp in the spring and liked it, so she started taking private lessons. This weekend, she’s playing in her first tournament. The Community Hospital Junior Tournament begins at 8 a.m. Friday morning and continues through Sunday at the Elliott Tennis Center at Colorado Mesa University.

“I’ve never played one,” Aslan said. “I just wanted to try it.”

She is one of five girls playing in the 12-under singles draw.

The tournament includes four boys singles draws, three girls singles draws, three boys doubles and one girls doubles.

There isn’t a girls 18 singles draw or any mixed doubles draws this year.

There are 65 boys and girls registered for the Community Hospital Junior Tennis Tournament.

Tournament Director Ron Elliott cited other events for the lack of players, including camps and tournaments for other sports.

Luke Ledebur won the boys 18 singles draw last year, and Anne Hughes won the girls 16 singles title last year. Ledebur has won the boys 18 title the past two years after winning the 14 and 16 singles title before that.

The tournament is sponsored by Community Hospital this year. It was sponsored by Elam Construction for several years until last year, when McDonald’s sponsored it.

Community Hospital has made a three-year commitment to the tournament, Elliott said.

Aslan said she’ll see how this one goes before signing up for more tournaments, but for now she is enjoying the sport.

She has played soccer, but she wanted to try “a completely different sport,” she said. “I don’t like doing the same thing all the time.”

Aslan has participated in the Mesa County Summer Tennis League.


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