UTS back in 2021 with a “Masters” and a new league, at least three Top 20 present in April
UTS is officially back, with a fourth edition which will launch its 2021 season at the beginning of April, marked by the creation of a second league, the Contenders’ League, and a Masters at the end of the year. Tsitsipas, Monfils, Fognini, Bublik and Moutet are the first five confirmed participants for UTS4, to be held at the Mouratoglou Academy, on clay.
The Ultimate Tennis Showdown will soon have a “season 2”. The organisers published a press release on Tuesday to launch the 2021 season of the competition. It will begin with the fourth edition of UTS, which will take place from April 5 to 7, at the Mouratoglou Academy. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gaël Monfils and Fabio Fognini, who are all in the Top 20 of the ATP ranking, have notably confirmed their presence, as well as Alexander Bublik and Corentin Moutet.
Three other players will join the competition in the coming weeks.
The year of UTS will also be marked by the establishment of a new competition, the “League of Contenders”, which will feature eight players who possess a spectacular game and the panache to go with it. The “League of Contenders” will be based at the Mouratoglou Academy and will be monitored on a daily basis, to allow the public the opportunity to follow their training and keeps tabs on their everyday life.
The eight “League of Contenders” participants will be revealed in the coming weeks, and a first tournament will take place in the spring.
The equivalent of a Masters, called The Ultimate Encounter, is also scheduled for the end of the season, though a final date has yet to be set. This event will bring together players from the Main League and the League of Contenders, with the ultimate title of UTS Champion at stake.
“2020 showed us that the revolutionary project was worth pursuing,” explains Patrick Mouratoglou, co-founder of UTS, in the press release.
“We’ve attracted a new, younger audience, created incredible memories and experienced a wide variety of emotions from excitement, to stress, suspense, and laughter. Coming back even stronger with a second season of UTS was a no-brainer for 2021. We have a lot of surprises in store for the fans and we can’t wait to have them on board and to continue this tennis saga.”
UTS4, a first on clay
UTS4 will take place on clay, a first in the history of the format. It has so far been played on outdoor hard courts (twice) or indoor hard courts (once). For participating players, the tournament will be part of the preparation for the 2021 clay court season, which will begin on April 10 for the ATP Tour, with the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000. The eight UTS4 participants will be split into two groups of four players. The first two in each group will qualify for the semi-finals. The group matches will take place on April 5 and 6, and the Final Four will be played on April 7, for a total of 15 matches.
The basic rules remain the same at UTS, with four quarters (10 minutes like last summer? The press release does not specify) and a potential sudden death in the event of a tie between the two players.
UTS cards, quarter time and watch.uts.tv still there
UTS cards will also be back and new rules, details of which have yet to be announced, will be introduced to make matches even more entertaining. They will be unveiled in detail closer to the competition.
All matches will be visible live on the UTS digital platform, where exclusive content around the matches will also be available to shine a light on the talents of the players involved in the competition.
The first editions of UTS were won by Matteo “The Hammer” Berrettini (UTS1), Alexander “The Lion” Zverev (UTS2), Anastasia “The Thunder” Pavlyuchenkova (UTS2, women’s tournament) and Alex “The Demon” De Minaur (UTS3).