French coach Patrick Mouratoglou has come up with a unique idea to keep tennis continuing in these months of mandatory stoppage. Serena Williams’ coach has teamed up with Alex Popyrin – father of Alexie Popyrin – to launch the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS), on 18th April 2020.
The UTS will feature a series of matches between some of the world’s best professional players that will be streamed live to spectators around the world. Beginning on the weekend of 16th-17th May, there will be 10 matches played across the next five weekends, extending up to June.
All of these 50 matches will be hosted at the Mouratoglou Academy and will be behind closed doors. UTS’ objective is to reinvent the way tennis is usually experienced and consumed. There will be real-time interaction between tennis fans worldwide and their favourite players, fans can listen to every conversation between players and coaches (that will take place either through on-court or video coaching).
Players involved in the matches will be allowed to express their emotions freely on the court, unlike professional matches where they have to follow a stricter code of conduct. About the concept, Mouratoglou said, “The UTS is simply meant to be an alternative to what already exists.
It is a platform created to showcase the incredible talent, athleticism and personalities of the wide range of tennis players. It offers a new and innovative approach, targeting a younger tennis audience and proposes a different way to distribute the money among the players”.
He also added, “The UTS defines itself as a player-centric league, and therefore features a system focusing on the redistribution of income among the players. This system could be particularly beneficial for lower-ranked players”.
As of now, David Goffin and Alexei Popyrin are the first two stars to have committed to the event. Speaking about the initiative, Popyrin’s father and UTS’ co-founder, Popyrin senior shared, “There is no doubt that the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, with thrilling single matches and millions of US dollars in prize money, has the potential to be the world’s most exciting tennis competition.
Fans watching at home will feel closer than ever before to the stars of world tennis through our engaging format”. Photo Credit: The Indian Express