UTS: Quarters, UTS cards, coaching timeouts… Discover all the rules!

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During a video press conference organised on "Zoom", Patrick Mouratoglou officially unveiled the rules of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, which starts this Saturday.

5 weekends, 50 matches

As already announced, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown will start on Saturday June 13th and will take place over five weekends. There will be 10 matches per weekend. The six players with the most wins will compete on the last Sunday in a knockout phase, with two quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the big final. The two best-ranked players will qualify directly for the semi-finals. If two players (or more) have the same number of victories, the first tiebreaker will be percentage of sets won. If needed, the percentage of points won will be used. 

Four 10-minute quarters

The matches will be played in four 10-minute quarters, with a two-minute break between each. The player with the most points after 10 minutes, which will be signified by a loud buzzer, will win the quarter. There will be a loud countdown for each second during the last minute. If both players are tied, a decisive point will be played. If a player wins the first three quarters, the fourth quarter is played for set-average purposes.

“Tiebreak” format

There will be no warm-up on court before the match. A toss will decide who will serve first at the beginning of the first quarter, and each player will begin on serve alternatively after for the other quarters. The two players will each have two serves in a row. The format of the match will be like a tiebreak.

15 seconds max to serve

There will be a maximum of 15 seconds allowed between each point. If a player takes more than 15 seconds to serve, he receives a warning the first time, then a one-point penalty the second time; if he takes 20 seconds, he gets a two-point penalty; 25 seconds, a three-point penalty, etc.

A sudden-death format

If both players are tied at two quarters apiece, a fifth quarter is played in a ‘sudden-death’ format. The player whose total of points is higher chooses whether he wants to serve or return first. Both players serve alternately (the server chooses whether he wants to serve on the deuce side or advantage side). The first player to win two consecutive points wins the match.

Coaching timeouts

Each coach is allowed to take four 30-second timeouts during a match, one per quarter. The coach calls a timeout by hitting a buzzer (it has to be between points, if it happens during a point, the player receives a point penalty). The time is counted from when the player is on his chair with the headset on. The player has the right to refuse a coaching timeout. All coach-player interactions must be conducted in English, otherwise there could be a point penalty for the player.

Amélie Mauresmo is Lucas Pouille's coach since 2019

Interaction with the audience

Each player is equipped with a headset so that he can talk to his coach, his fans, and answer questions from the commentators/interviewers.

The UTS cards

There will be UTS cards, which have to be used during the match and may have an influence on the result. The players will be presented with four UTS cards, which will give them an advantage. Before each quarter, the players will have to choose two of the four cards which can be used during the next quarter. Each card used is active during the next two points. It is not possible to use two cards at the same time, or at the same time as the opponent. Each player is given an extra 20 seconds when using a UTS card. These cannot be used during sudden-death.

Here are some cards:

  • -1 serve: Your opponent gets one serve instead of two.
  • Winners count x3: Each of your winners counts triple.
  • x4 consecutive serves: Player serves 4 times consecutively.
  • Win in 3 shots max: Your opponent is forced to win the point with 3 shots or  less (serve or return + 2 shots).

The chair umpire will be assisted by another person whose mission will be to check the time and the use of specific cards.

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