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What is UTS?

In short, Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) is the world’s newest, most exciting, innovative tennis league, playing an entirely reinvented game format. The year-round league was founded by Patrick Mouratoglou, who previously coached WTA legend Serena Williams and is now the coach of 2-time grand slam champion Simona Halep and young Danish star Holger Rune.

In addition, Patrick also mentors several promising players, including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Coco Gauff, and Alexei Popyrin. UTS introduces a modern format consisting of 40-minute intense matches, a lightened code of conduct, and unique novelties.

For instance, UTS cards strongly emphasize strategy and add to the suspense. Live coaching and mid-match interviews allow fans to get inside the player’s minds and immerse into their universe. UTS organised its first events proof of concept following the Covid-19 lockdown.

World-famous players that have already participated include Daniil Medvedev, Taylor Fritz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Alexander Zverev, and many more. In 2023, UTS returns with four events worldwide.

The first two events have taken place in the US and Europe. Finally, a Grand Final will be held in December in the UK.

What is the “Why” behind the UTS?

“UTS aims to appeal to a younger, more engaged new generation of fans to grow its fanbase community” – Patrick Mouratoglou. As the average tennis fan is 61 years old, and that number is increasing each year, tennis is currently in a danger zone.

As a sport, whether practiced or consumed, tennis fails to renew its fan base and appeal to younger generations. Why? First, modern-day tennis lacks emotion and diversity. Due in part to the evolution of the code of conduct, which has become increasingly rigid over the years, players have been forced to polish their personalities and fit into a specific mold that the sport has created.

As a result, there are currently no McEnroe or Connors, which are players that truly share their personality and emotions with the fans and that the fans, in return, can genuinely relate to. Second, there is a lack of modernity in the sport.

Tennis has stagnated for over 40 years, sticking to the same rules and traditions. It has failed to adapt to a changing reality and to appeal to new generations who completely stand out from previous ones.

New generations, for instance, don’t want to sit still in silence for 3 hours to watch a tennis match; they want faster, more intense, and ready-to-consume content. There is an urgent need to reinvent how tennis is played, watched, and consumed.

What is UTS’s ambition?

UTS aims to build a long-term, international league of showdown series events that will offer an alternative to traditional tours. Eventually, events will take place all over the world. UTS is not designed to be a one-time hit; If UTS is a movie, we mean to make it a saga. Or think of it as Netflix’s next binge-worthy TV show.

On a deeper level, the goal of UTS is to bring new generations and other sports fans to discover and appreciate tennis to grow and solidify the tennis fan base.

How will UTS stand out from traditional tennis events?

UTS is looking to take a step back from the traditional tennis experience and engage fans differently. UTS will present more than just tennis matches; it will present showdowns. Adapted for younger generations, UTS will create a virtual show inspired by e-sport.

Through an interactive format, fans will inevitably feel closer and connected to tennis stars and experience heightened emotions. Viewers will hear conversations between the players and their coaches, as on-court and video coaching will be allowed. With a lightened code of conduct, and a more laid-back and playful atmosphere, players will carry themselves more freely on-court and show their true personality. UTS will focus on profiling players with behind-the-scenes shots and exciting storytelling.

The format includes:

  • Fast-paced and intense matches composed of 4 quarters of 8 minutes each
  • Live coaching allowed and livestreamed to the fans
  • Mid-match interviews to get inside of the players’ mind, right on the moment
  • An emphasis on strategy with the introduction UTS cards
  • Suspense until the last second with decisive points and sudden deaths
  • A lightened code of conduct
  • Although there will be a stronger emphasis on entertainment, UTS remains a serious competition, not an exhibition.

Overall, it’s undeniable that UTS distinguishes itself as the fresh and thrilling league of tennis.