The Universal Tennis Ranking (UTR) Pro Match Series tennis tournament is the first tennis tournament in the USA since the Coronavirus outbreak. With no spectators or public access, the event is being held at a private court in West Palm Beach, FL. On May 9th, World No. 1 took to Twitter to announce that The Novak Djokovic Foundation will be sponsoring the series.
The Novak Djokovic Foundation (NDF) has been implementing early childhood development programs for children in Serbia. The foundation also raises awareness of the importance of sport for the healthy development of children. The NDF has helped change the lives of over 20000 children and 980 families and has trained over 1500 teachers. The 2020 season started pretty well for Novak Djokovic as he won all six of his singles matches at the inaugural ATP Cup for Team Serbia. In the Australian Open semifinals, the Serb then beat six-time champion Roger Federer before recovering from two sets to one deficit against Dominic Thiem to win a record-extending eighth title.
The UTR Pro Match Series tournament for men took place from May 8-10, while the women’s event is set to take place from May 22-24. Although Djokovic hasn’t taken, he highly supports the series as it strives to showcase how tennis can be played locally and safely, through one-on-one match play, even during the difficult COVID-19 lockdown period. Both events have and will offer prize money and will be broadcast live on TennisChannel.
All the required safety precautions and guidelines will be followed in the tournament without a doubt, and will feature four players in a round-robin format. Safety precautions include strict screening, cleaning and social distancing measures for players, officials and staff. There will be no spectators, handshaking, ball kids or line judges. One chair umpire will moderate the match, and the court and facility will be professionally disinfected before and after play. For use during matches, each player will be provided with their own set of marked balls.
The UTR Pro-Match series for men featured the following four players - Reilly Opelka, Hubert Hurkacz, Miomir Kecmanovic and Tommy Paul. Reily Opelka won the series 3-1. The women’s tournament will consist of Alison Riske, Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins and Ajla Tomljanovic.