Universal Tennis has announced the launch of a three-year, $20 million worldwide initiative in order to provide elite juniors, collegiate and professional players with ample opportunity to compete and earn much needed prize money. The UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour will cater to players ranked between 200-2000 in the UTR rankings, and will kick off with 40 events for men and women in select venues across the United States in 2021.
The tournaments in the U.S. will be held at four different locations: the Darling Tennis Center (Las Vegas), the LTP Academy (Charleston, S.C.), the Tennis Club at Newport Beach (Newport Beach, Calif.) and the Sanchez-Casal Academy (Naples, Fla.). In all, the Pro Tennis Series Tour will host 140 tournaments across Australia, Denmark, Spain, and other countries.
In order to guarantee competitors multiple matches, they will compete using a round-robin format, with the group winners advancing to the final stages—similar to the ATP Finals and NextGen ATP Finals.
Announcing the UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour! This 3 year $20M initiative will create events & prize money opportunities for players ranked 200-2,000 globally to compete & earn a living. ????????????????— MyUTR (@MyUTR) December 7, 2020
Learn more & register at https://t.co/nENutXNUKd. More events & locations coming soon! pic.twitter.com/GLe7J2KJ17
The initiative couldn’t have come at a better time for players who were struggling financially before the pandemic, which only exacerbated the glaring financial issues facing the world’s lower-ranked players. With ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tour events being canceled left and right, UTR hopes to provide players with consistent and secure playing opportunities.
"As part of our mission to support all facets of tennis, the UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour is founded on our desire to create a development tour to support elite players, coaches, organizers and Federations worldwide. The UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour will create more opportunities for aspiring professional players with UTR rankings of 200 to 2000 globally to compete and earn a living while working their way up to the highest level pro tours," said Mark Leschly, Universal Tennis Chairman and CEO.
“We are trying to build a solid foundation and broaden the base of professional tennis,” added Leschly.
The announcement is welcome news to tennis fans and players, as all matches from the UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour will be live-streamed. Each event will provide a minimum of $20,000 in prize money. To avoid severe scheduling complications, UTR has worked closely with the USTA on the schedule in order to create a complementary and collaborative calendar.
For more information on the UTR Pro Tennis Series Tour, calendar, prize money, event format, and to register for events, please visit https://www.myutr.com/pts.