How strong is the field for this weekend’s Snowflake Open tennis tournament?

The state’s reigning high school state champion, Falmouth senior Nick Forester, is not one of the 16 seeds in a men’s singles field that numbers 56.

“This is probably one of the deepest draws I’ve ever seen in Maine, in terms of talent and depth,” said Forester, who plans to continue his career at Bates College in the fall. “It’s kind of unusual but it’s definitely good.”

The tournament begins Friday afternoon at Apex Racket and Fitness in Portland and continues through late Sunday afternoon, possibly early evening in order to complete the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles brackets as well as men’s and women’s singles.

A year ago, Forester was the 14th seed and won two matches before being ousted by the fifth seed, Kyle Wolfe, then a Bowdoin College senior from Connecticut. A different Bowdoin senior, Grant Urken from Purchase, New York, is seeded first this year. Urken made school history last spring when he won the NCAA Division III national singles championship at Claremont, California.

In last year’s tournament, Urken lost a three-set semifinal to top seed and eventual champion Eliot Potvin, who won two high school singles titles at Hampden Academy and is now director of tennis at Apex and Portland Country Club.

“There are really strong players at the three Maine NESCACs,” said Potvin, referring to Bowdoin, Bates and Colby, “and a lot of them use this tournament as a warm-up for their season. So that really strengthens and deepens the field. This is probably the strongest in Maine in at least five years, probably a lot longer than that.”

The field includes the top junior in New England, Conor Fu of Andover, Massachusetts, who is bound for Notre Dame. Fu is seeded fifth, with Bowdoin senior Jerry Jiang third and Denis Indondo – a former ATP Tour player from the Congo who recently settled in Maine – fourth.

The other 11 seeded men include top players from Colby, Bates, Bowdoin and Tufts.

The women’s singles field of 12 includes three-time Maine high school champ Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth as the second seed. Leavitt is currently a senior at Brandeis. Sasa Jovanovic, a Bowdoin junior from East Weymouth, Massachusetts, is seeded first with Bowdoin senior Sarah Shadowens of Grand Rapids, Michigan, third and Sophia Wax, a high school junior from Newton, Massachusetts, fourth.

The tournament also includes a men’s doubles bracket with 23 teams, a women’s doubles bracket with nine and mixed doubles draw of 14 teams.

Potvin said he’s aware of the weather forecast and prepared for the possibility of more than a foot of snow falling overnight Saturday and into Sunday.

“We’ll still hold it,” he said. “Most players who come up stay locally and all the draws are at least down to semifinals by Sunday.”

Admission is free. Streaming video of matches on two courts will be available on the Facebook pages of the club and of the Maine Tennis Association.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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