Mouratoglou: UTS can help to improve tennis, without ruining it
The Frenchman believes the shorter format of the competition will attract a younger generation to the sport as a whole
Patrick Mouratoglou says UTS can help to enhance the sport of tennis without ruining its traditions and the things that make it great.
The Frenchman founded this new tennis format in 2020 under the name Ultimate Tennis Showdown, saying it can bring new younger followers to the sport.
Speaking at Viva Tech 2023, a festival dedicated to new technologies based in Paris, Mouratoglou said there is no reason why UTS cannot enhance tennis and says tennis has nothing to fear from it.
“That’s why I think UTS is a great idea, because we can start the renovation of tennis, without touching tennis,” Mouratoglou said. “Tennis can stay the way it is, and continue to satisfy its fan base, and with UTS we can start to recruit the next generation of fans.”
UTS has four main criteria
Mouratoglou says UTS has identified four main criteria to “define what tennis should be in the new world”.
“The length—at UTS, a match is 45 minutes,” he said. “In tennis, it can be four hours or five hours. For us, we know when is the start and we know when is the end, because like in basketball there is a clock that is deciding for the start and for the end of the match.
“The authenticity. Tennis is not very authentic, because we don’t let the players express themselves. We give lessons of morals, saying this is right, this is wrong, so the players are stuck in kind of, except some guys like (Nick) Kyrgios, except (Holger) Rune, but they all try to get in that format of what they are.
Everyone has a phone. When there is a little downtime, what they do? They take their phone, and you lose them.Patrick Mouratoglou on tennis fans
“Immersivity. Tennis, there is a lot of distance between the fan and the player. They want more immersion. And that’s why they did this Netflix show. It’s just the start of it. We can go much further, but they need to know the players, they need to be inside of and understand who they are, and decide if they’re connected or not to them.
“And the down time. Everyone has a phone. When there is a little downtime, what they do? They take their phone, and you lose them. We don’t know if they’re going to come back, not sure. That for me is the four main pillars.”