Universal Tennis and Tennis Australia are thrilled to announce the AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff, a multi-week, multi-city event that gives all tennis players, regardless of age and ability, the opportunity to play their way into the main draw of the Australian Open 2020 via the AO Wildcard Playoff in Melbourne.
The new AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff will kick off in Queensland from Thursday, November 7th to Sunday, November 10th, with New South Wales to follow from Thursday, November 14th to Sunday, November 17th. The top two finishers (male and female) in each event will advance to the AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff Finals in Melbourne, from which two winners will gain entry into the AO Wildcard Playoff, held Monday, December 9th to Sunday, December 15th.
“The AO2020 UTR Wildcard Open is an exciting chance for us to open up opportunities for the everyday player and bring a new level of innovation to the Australian Open."Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director
The AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff will utilize the Universal Tennis tournament platform and organize draws based on a player’s Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) Powered by Oracle, to create a competitive, level-based staggered entry format. Staggered entry draws based on UTR have quickly been gaining global traction as the preferred way to create a truly open community tournament where players are matched purely on skill level for better competition.
Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director said, “This is an exciting chance for us to open up opportunities for the everyday player and bring a new level of innovation to the Australian Open. The AO 2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff will encourage players of all levels to get excited about the sport as well as offer a creative and fun way for them to get involved. Our partnership with Universal Tennis is integral to our efforts to grow the game and create more opportunities for players of all levels to have a fantastic tennis experience wherever they are.”
The AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff is part of a long-term partnership between Tennis Australia and Universal Tennis that aims to create more pathways within the game and increase local participation through level-based tennis. Today, there are tens of thousands of tennis players in Australia who have a UTR, which allows them to unlock a more fun and flexible tennis experience by finding better matches and more people to play with.
“Our goal at Universal Tennis is to increase tennis participation in local ecosystems and bring players together via level-based play opportunities,” said Mark Leschly, Universal Tennis Chairman and CEO. “Together with Tennis Australia, we are excited to offer players a new road to the Australian Open via the AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff. Creating engaging events that allow players of any level to have a competitive match is key to achieving our shared goal of growing the game and making tennis more affordable, accessible, and fun for all.”
AO2020 UTR Wildcard Playoff Calendar:
- Stage 1 - Queensland Qualifying: Thursday 7th November to Sunday 10th November 2019. New South Wales Qualifying: Thursday 14th November to Sunday 17th November. Two finalists from each event will move on to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 - Melbourne Final: Friday 6th December and Saturday 7th December 2019. Two winners receive entry into the AO Wildcard Playoff.
- Stage 3 - Melbourne AO Wildcard Playoff: Monday 9th December to Sunday 15th December 2019. Winner receives entry into the Australian Open Main Draw.
Registration for the New South Wales and Queensland AO UTR Wildcard Playoff Qualifying closes on October 30, 2019 at 11:59 PM AEST. For more information and to register for the Queensland AO UTR Wildcard Playoff visit MyUTR.com/AOWCQLD. To register for the New South Wales AO UTR Wildcard Playoff visit MyUTR.com/AOWCNSW.