Two junior tennis tournaments in Germany—one this summer, another in the fall—will funnel their match results to Universal Tennis Ratings
(UTR) enabling entrants to acquire UTRs. Both events have partnerships with Uniexperts
, based in Cologne, Germany. Uniexperts consults with student-athletes in Europe and college coaches in the United States, helping the young Europeans attend college in America, typically financed through athletic scholarships. Their mission is to connect students with U.S. colleges that are the best fit for both the athletes and the institutions.
In pursuing this goal, uniexperts has found UTR an increasingly valuable tool. “It’s no secret that almost all college tennis coaches refer to UTR when they recruit players, both from the United States and overseas,” says uniexperts founder Stefan Wirtz, a German native who played varsity tennis at Armstrong State University in Georgia. “Within the last two or three years, UTR has become one of the most important tools coaches use.”
“It’s no secret that almost all college tennis coaches refer to UTR when they recruit players, both from the United States and overseas.”
The first event, the Düsseldorf Junior Open
, runs from July 31 to August 6 at an important tennis club, the TC Rheinstadion
. “It’s one of the biggest youth tournaments in Germany,” says Roger Thiele, who, like Wirtz, is a managing director at uniexperts—and also played for Armstrong State. “All the results from the tournament will go into the UTR system.” Last year, 536 players entered, and this summer the draws will include age categories for athletes under 21, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, and a mini-court event for those under 9 years of age. The top junior prize is €8,000, and there will be daily live TV coverage. Past entrants have come from all over the world, including Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, and Turkey.
The second event, the annual Uniexperts Cup
, will run from November 3 to November 5, 2017 at the PMTR Academy in Mülheim
on the Ruhr. In addition to sponsoring this event, uniexperts works with the PMTR tennis academy to stage showcases where young European players can demonstrate their skills in the presence of NCAA Division I, II, III, and NAIA tennis coaches. A recent showcase brought 80 athletes from eight countries to Germany to play before 21 U.S. college coaches who flew in specifically to watch the athletes demonstrate their talents.
Though uniexperts works with soccer, golf, field hockey, swimming, and track and field athletes, tennis is their mainstay, as befits a company led by two former varsity tennis players. “We are the biggest tennis recruiting company in Germany,” says Wirtz, noting that uniexperts now sends 80 to 100 players annually to college in the United States. Once there, they’re doing well: six of the 10 women, and four of the 10 men on this 2017 list of the top 10 German players
on American campuses were uniexperts clients, by Wirtz’s tally. ”The importance of international recruiting has increased over the years,” he says. “When I went to college in 1998, there were just a handful of us. But our company has already sent 400 to 500 players to the United States.”
Whatever your home nation, consider the benefits of UTR-affiliated events. Join for free here.