American tennis star Reilly Opelka, who announced his withdrawal from the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) series in Frankfurt, revealed he is a big fan of the innovative format.
Opelka has not played since August last year due to a wrist injury, for which he underwent surgery. The big-serving American was hoping to make a comeback at UTS Frankfurt but will need a few more weeks before he can make a comeback.
The UTS series, introduced by French coach Patrick Mouratoglou, uses a modified scoring format, with matches divided into timed quarters, and players allowed to play power up “cards” during matches to impact the game.
In an interview with Tennis Majors, Opelka revealed he is super bumped to miss the UTS series. “Super annoyed! It’s right up my alley. It’s everything I believe in for tennis. It’s everything I love about it. I love playing with the idea of radical changes. And that’s why I’m a big believer in UTS.”
Opelka said the fact that the UTS format is very different from other attempts made by tennis officials to innovate the sport. “There’s been a lot of other products that have come aside from the ATP that have tried to do things differently, the Tiebreak Tens and all these little tiebreak events, but they don’t work because it’s not radical enough. It’s not so different of a product where people are itching to see something that different because you can see a tiebreaker on Tennis Channel every day. So what I like about UTS is it’s radical and it’s super different. It’s way out of left field. It’s hectic. It’s crazy. And I think that’s how you test the waters, it’s by really doing a 180: not just making it a couple tiebreakers here and there, it’s a totally different product. It’s unlike anything else and that’s why I believe in it so much.”
Opelka has been replaced by Casper “The Iceman” Ruud in UTS Frankfurt. The Norwegian joins Gael “La Monf” Monfils, Andrey “Rublo” Rublev, Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman, Daniil “The Chessmaster” Medvedev, Benoit “The Rebel” Paire, “The Thunder” Jan-Lennard Struff, and Christopher “The Rocket” Eubanks in the field.