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New chapter, new structure at UTS2; women to debut in format August 1
The second edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown will begin this weekend, where Grigor Dimitrov and Fernando Verdasco will make their debuts. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova headlines the women set to compete on August 1-2 at the Mouratoglou Academy.
Published Jul 22, 2020
On July 12, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown wrapped up its inaugural five-weekend stint with Matteo Berrettini emerging victorious. Now, anew chapter is set to unravel this weekend in the South of France at the Mouratoglou Academy.
Starting this Saturday, competitors will once again battle it out across four 10-minute quarters, have UTS cards at their disposal and if necessary, face off in sudden death. However, the tournament format will be slightly different than the last edition.
The event will kick off with round-robin action in two pools of four men, with the winners advancing to the final four. The twist this time around is that two pre-qualified Top 20 competitors, yet to be revealed, will await their arrival on August 2.
UTS fans can expect to see the return of Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez, and several others from the first run. World No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 52 Fernando Verdasco will make their debuts.
The format modifications and added faces aren't the only enhancements sparking the latest edition. Four women will join in on the UTS action for the first time on August 1-2.
"As an advocate for women’s tennis, it was a priority for us to include women in the UTS story as soon as possible. Considering the time and logistic restrictions we faced in organizing UTS1, we couldn’t make it happen right from the start," tournament director Patrick Mourtaglou said. "But following up with UTS2 without women was unthinkable. I’m looking forward to see them evolve in UTS’ format.”
World No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Alize Cornet, Ons Jabeur, and the youngest UTS competitor, Czech Brenda Fruhvirtova, will battle it out in a pair of semifinals on August 1 and championship clash on August 2. Last week, 13-year-old Fruhvirtova captured her best career win against No. 54 Katerina Siniakova in the Czech league.
The unconventional tournament not only provided fans and players an opportunity to dive back into the sport after an extended drought, but it also continues to push boundaries in the way tennis is played.
“We knew from the beginning that UTS was not going to be a one-shot. I’m very proud of UTS1’s success, and that we were able to follow up with a second edition so fast. I’m looking forward to seeing more of UTS this weekend," Mouratoglou said.
Catch all the action on Tennis Channel starting Saturday at 12 p.m. EST.