Ultimate Tennis Showdown

The Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) is a popular tennis exhibition format with many different rules compared to regular tennis tournaments.

Date: Multiple
Category: Exhibition
Surface: Multiple
Location: Multiple
Players: Invitational
Prize Money: TBA
Points: None
Official website: https://www.uts.live/

The Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) is a men’s exhibition tennis event. Each leg of the UTS is played at a different host venue. Some former host cities include Antwerp, Los Angeles, Seoul, and London. The first edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown took place in 2020.

It was set up by famous tennis coach and mentor Patrick Mouratoglou and Alex Popyrin - father of tennis player Alexei Popyrin. Ultimately, the pair wanted to create a new-look tennis event with a more informal and fast-paced setup.

As a result, the UTS rules are different from traditional tennis competitions. Some of the differences include matches taking place in four segments (quarters) of eight minutes. Serve timers are also set to 15 seconds, so players must complete their serve within the timeframe.

In addition, competitors can play bonus cards once in each quarter. These cards can enforce a handicap on their opponent but also give them a special advantage or reward them more points for a rally, as the scoring in UTS is not traditional 15, 30, 40 tennis scoring, but tie-break-like 1, 2, 3.

Throughout the UTS competition, there is also no code of conduct. As a result, players are not restrained in their on-court activity, which can lead to many crowd-pleasing antics. Paradoxically, in 2024, Gael Monfils was disqualified from the tournament after unintentionally injuring a supervisor in the locker room.

The competing players and their coaches are also mic’d up during breaks, so spectators can listen into conversations and remarks, while they are also interviewed in between the quarters. In 2020, the first two UTS competitions took place in Blot, France, with Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev winning the first two events.

The next tournament took place in Antwerp, where Alex de Minaur emerged as the victor. However, only one UTS final took place in 2021, as the competition went on a two-year hiatus before returning in 2023.

Upon its return, several elite players took part in the event, which featured three legs, including the first UTS Grand Final in London. Eight players with the most UTS ranking points, plus the two winners of the 2023 UTS before the Grand Final, qualified for the London event.

Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, and Holger Rune were among the competitors. But British player Jack Draper won the inaugural UTS Grand Final in London, defeating Rune in the final match.

You may also like