Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

DU players, coaches, alums ready to racquet and roll at tennis open

This year’s Colorado State Open tennis tournament promises to be a glimpse of where DU is going and where it’s been.

Eight varsity players from the men’s team and two from the women’s team entered the Open as well as a standout alumna from last year’s women’s team, four current coaches, three former players, a University Technology Services staffer, a potential recruit from Cherry Creek High and the University’s No. 1 player in 1954.

The $16,000 tournament is the most prestigious in the state and attracts hundreds of Colorado’s best players in a wealth of singles and doubles events from mother-son and father-daughter to players age 80 and older.

Ironically, the men’s and women’s coaches are seeded higher than their players, with women’s head coach Jeremy Wurtzman seeded No. 4 in singles, assistant men’s coach Chris Lam No. 7 and volunteer assistant Willie Dann No. 11.

Men’s varsity player David Simson is seeded No. 15. Other DU men’s players must win qualifying matches to make the main draw, including veterans Yannick Weihs, Andrew Landwerlen, Varun Gunaseelan and Ravjot Dhatt along with incoming freshmen Jens Vorkefeld, Fabio Biasion and Aaron Wicker.

Men’s head coach Danny Westerman will play doubles with Lam.

Representing the women’s team are veterans Julia Bauregger of Austria and Ute Schnoy of Germany, the 2008 defending women’s Open champion.

Former DU players Jake Goldberg and Matt Kranich are also entered in the competition.

Annette Aksdal of Norway, a 2009 women’s team standout who graduated in the spring, is teaming in the women’s open doubles event with Brittany Warly, who in the spring dominated the state 5A girls at No. 2 singles for Cherry Creek High School as a sophomore.

Competing in the 75 and older men’s singles and doubles is DU alumnus Alvie Willis (BSBA ’55, MA ’70), who paced the Pioneers’ varsity from 1951–55.

Only one DU standout is out of the running. UTS staffer Ken England lost his opening round doubles match in the NTRP 4.5 division 6–2; 6–2.

The Colorado State Open takes place at the Gates Tennis Center at 3300 East Bayaud Ave. in Denver. To keep track of the action, visit

Comments are closed.