Less than a month remains until UTS 5 kicks off in Los Angeles. Ahead of the much-anticipated event, King Kyrgios has weighed in on how he’s feeling about the new style of play required to succeed in this format of the game.
The Australian player has recently returned from a seven-month injury layoff, and is easing his way back into the grass court season. With hopes of making another deep run at Wimbledon, soon after, Kyrgios will be heading to the United States for UTS Los Angeles.
With Wimbledon and UTS painting a stark contrast, Kyrgios has assured fans that he’ll be perfectly comfortable with the new innovations, and is looking forward to the changes.
One serve will be “quite spectacular” for Kyrgios
One of the many innovations that UTS has introduced to the game of tennis, is eliminating the option of a second serve.
While this rule speeds up the game up and eliminates down time, it has another knock-on effect. Players must adapt their first serve from traditional tennis, or risk forfeiting many more points than they’d like.
When asked how he feels about this UTS rule, Kyrgios responded:
“One serve for me is quite, quite spectacular,” the Aussie declared with a grin. “My serve is definitely my main weapon. It’s been the biggest weapon in my career, and it’s won me a lot of matches.
“I’ve got a quite high percentage first serve, so I’ll be serving big, that’s for sure.”
How many underarm serves will we see at UTS?
With both Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Bublik playing at UTS Los Angeles, you can count on some underarm serves making an appearance.
According to Kyrgios, he “won’t be playing that too much,” due to the calibre of competition on display at the event. With the likes of Taylor ‘Hot Shot’ Fritz and Frances ‘Big Foe’ Tiafoe in the draw, it’ll be tough for the Australian to slip his iconic underarm serve through too many times.
However, only time will tell if Kyrgios is simply playing down this tactic, in order to gain a surprise advantage in July.
Alexander Bublik, fondly known as the Bublik Enemy when he’s on the UTS court, has not been quite so coy—already declaring that he will be utilising the underarm serve for sure throughout the weekend.
“History says I’m one of the fastest players between points”
Another innovation in the UTS rulebook is the 15 second shot clock. Similar to basketball, players will only have 15 seconds between one point ending and another starting.
With traditional tennis having a 20 second shot clock which is only loosely enforced, this will present a challenge for some players serving.
Thankfully, for Kyrgios, this will be another UTS adaptation that fits his natural game perfectly.
“The speed clock in UTS, won’t be a problem for me,” explained Kyrgios.
“History says I’m one of the fastest players between points, I don’t like to waste too much time on court.”Those eager to catch a glimpse of King Kyrgios at UTS Los Angeles can still buy tickets, with the event held between July 21 to 23, at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Los Angeles.
- July 21st : Nick “King Kyrgios” Kyrgios Vs Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman
- July 21st : Nick “King Kyrgios” Kyrgios Vs Yibing “The Great Wall” Wu
- July 22nd : Nick “King Kyrgios” Kyrgios Vs Taylor “The Hotshot” Fritz