In June, the world got its first taste of what could be the future of tennis. A brainchild of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown boasts a non-traditional format that consists of four-quarter matches.
“This will allow for fans to rediscover the players for who they really are and what they stand for,” said Mouratoglou. “Trying to bring much more emotion, trying to bring much more dynamic, and modern show.”
Held in Nice, France, UTS players include world No. 3 Dominic Thiem, No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, No. 10 David Goffin, former No. 7 Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez, Alexei Popyrin, Dustin Brown and Corentin Moutet.
After three weeks of competition, Tsitsipas sits atop the leaderboard. The young Greek has dropped just one match in six contests. On Saturday, he became the first player to come back from two quarters down, topping Lopez in a sudden-death decider.
Right behind the Greek is Berrettini, who is 4-2 so far. In the No. 3 slot is Gasquet, who is also 4-2 but trails the Italian in quarters (sets) won.
Thiem—who dodged testing positive for COVID-19 after some of his fellow Adria Tour players weren’t so lucky—climbed into the No. 4 spot after play ended on Sunday. Thiem, who is 3-1 in the series, has only played four matches due to playing in Belgrade, where he won the first leg of the controversy-plagued Adria Tour.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Lopez (3-3), Goffin (3-3), 20-year-old Popyrin, and Frenchmen Moutet and Paire (Elliot Benchetrit was an alternate for Thiem).
Play resumes on Saturday.