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Why Monfils Couldn’t Say No to UTS

The first UTS event of 2023 is less than two months away, and already a star-studded line up has been confirmed.

With the tournament taking place in Los Angeles, the basketball-style format is sure to appeal to American fans. One of the big names announced for UTS 5 that draws the attention of audiences around the globe is that of France’s Gael Monfils.

Having entertained crowds on the ATP Tour for the better part of two decades, Monfils simply couldn’t resist jumping at the chance to be involved with the innovative brand of tennis offered by UTS.

An Opportunity Too Good to Say No

Gael Monfils may be an old hand when it comes to the ATP Tour, but the Frenchman is still palpably excited when asked about his inclusion in the latest UTS event.

“I will play for the first time in UTS and you know, I’m very excited about it because it looks really fun, really competitive… I’m really, really looking forward to test it out and really experiment.”

The 11-time ATP titleist explains how when he was invited to play at UTS Los Angeles this July, he didn’t have to think twice about whether or not it was a good move.

“I had the chance to be one of the players, and I was like 100%. I’m down for it.”

Monfils goes on to highlight how well UTS gels with his own game. The reality is, UTS could well have been custom-made for the Frenchman. Its unique approach to tennis emphasizes the entertainment factor of the sport, while showcasing a version of the sport on veritable rocket fuel—exactly how fans of Monfils would describe his tennis.

Monfils Hooked on the UTS Format

For “La Monf,” it was the format of UTS which first caught his eye.

“Actually, the format is very attractive,” said Monfils. “It’s something new, something fresh.”

When asked what it is about the UTS format that he’s attracted to, the 36-year-old explained, “This format is attractive because first it’s different, obviously. But you know, you have these playing cards and I don’t know yet which playing card we’re going to have, how we can use it. It’s quite fun.”

For Monfils, the mixture of both competition and show is a big appeal as well. 

In UTS, the solemn, serious tone of tennis is done away with, and replaced by a jazzed-up, player-centric model. With halftime interviews, live streamed coaching and a relaxed code of conduct, players can express themselves fully on court.

“I think I’m happy with this format. It’s a show,” explains Monfils. “And then at the same time it’s a competition, you know, everybody wants to compete and win no matter what. So, it’s going to be fun.”

UTS Los Angeles Expected to Be Biggest Event Yet

As the first UTS event held outside of Europe, and only the third time that crowds have been permitted, UTS Los Angeles has lofty ambitions.

Held at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, the event will see big names such as Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe battle it out in front of an expected 21,000 spectators.

Play will be held over the course of 21 to 23 July, with tickets still available online for those wanting to get a glimpse of tennis’s latest innovation in action. 

Players in this article

La Monf

Gaël Monfils