Universal Tennis, known for its innovative and disruptive Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) has invested over $20M in prize money events to form a tour called UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT). These events are for men and women with a UTR PTT Rank between 200-2,000. The UTR PTT is finally coming to India with two events this winter. I spoke to Bojana Berbari, Director of Marketing, UTR PTT via LinkedIn about the two events and UTR’s plans for Indian tennis.
1. Hi Bojana! Welcome to Indian Tennis Daily (ITD). How excited are you that the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) is finally coming to India?
We’re very excited to bring everything that the PTT offers to India. Aspiring pros can play multiple matches and earn guaranteed prize money at our events. We believe that this addition of economics and developmental opportunities will give Indian players and Indian tennis a boost that they have not had previously, but is very available in more developed tennis nations like the United States and Australia.
Many members of the Universal Tennis management team have Indian origins, so this is especially exciting for us.
2. Why did it take so long for PTT to come to India?
The PTT only started in January of 2021, and new host countries are regularly added. The All India Tennis Association(AITA) recently reversed their stance on UTR and we are excited to invest in the present and future players of Indian tennis, as Universal Tennis funds the Pro Tennis Tour.
3. Which players do you expect to participate in the upcoming PTT $25K India Women to be played from 7 to 13 November in New Delhi?
Registration is open until Oct. 24, so entries are still active. We expect a range of excellent players, mostly Indian, to compete. The standard UTR Rating minimum for a women’s event is 9.7, but players with lower ratings are still encouraged to enter.
4. We at ITD are getting in touch with Indian players to register for the event. A lot of players seem to think that the registration and payment process is a bit complicated. Who should they get in touch with for troubleshooting?
If players face issues when registering for PTT events, they should contact email@example.com to get assistance.
5. Does UTR have strategic plans to promote tennis in India?
Universal Tennis has long wanted to help develop Indian tennis and its players. With the use of UTR, Indian players will be able to see their rating and rank in relation to all others in the world. UTR is the gold standard of college tennis recruiting, which is a great pathway for development that players such as Somdev Devvarman, Saketh Myeni and Mahesh Bhupathi have used. Universal Tennis looks forward to continued commitment and support of Indian tennis.
6. Are there any plans to make UTR PTT content more accessible to the Indian audience?
Knowing the incredible financial and developmental impact PTT has had in other countries, Universal Tennis is especially excited to continue to make PTT accessible in India.
7. Other than pros, how are you getting recreational and amateur tennis players involved in UTR? How does UTR benefit them?
Universal Tennis offers solutions and opportunities for players at every level.
First, all players are encouraged to access the platform to claim their profile and understand their level through their UTR Rating. With Universal Tennis, all players- competitive and recreational- can grow their local tennis network, track their progress, and register for events.
8. Roger Federer’s TEAM8 and Novak Djokovic Foundation are listed as partners on the UTR website. Could you please tell us more about their involvement?
Partners and investors in Universal Tennis include Novak Djokovic, TEAM8, Larry Ellison, Tennis Channel, Endeavor/IMG, Tennis Australia, and Amazon. They support and enhance Universal Tennis’ mission to make tennis more affordable, accessible, and fun for players at all levels around the world.
Together, the partners help expand the worldwide adoption of UTR Rating, support new events and enhance existing opportunities in pro tennis, collaborate to support philanthropic endeavours, and develop initiatives to improve the game for players, organizers, and those involved in the business of tennis.
9. Can you please give suggestions as to how Indian tennis fans can support Universal Tennis?
First, Universal Tennis would like to thank ITD and its members for their constant support and promotion of Universal Tennis on their wonderful platforms and social channels.
India tennis fans can attend PTT events in person in New Delhi (Nov 7-13) and Indore (Dec 18-25) and support competing players. They can also follow Universal Tennis on social media, sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on all our updates, and claim their Universal Tennis profiles to access their UTR Ratings and enjoy everything Universal Tennis offers.
This interview was conducted in October 2022 in the form of Q & A via LinkedIn.