Marcela Zacarias Dominates UTR Pro Tennis Tour with Five Titles in 2021

Marcela Zacarias Dominates UTR Pro Tennis Tour with Five Titles in 2021

7 min read

The ATP has Novak Djokovic, track and field has Allyson Felix, the NBA has Lebron James, swimming has Katie Ledecky, and the UTR Pro Tennis Tour has Marcela Zacarias.

In 2021, Zacarias (UTR Rating 11.49) has won five PTT titles in the United States, compiling a spotless 30-0 record.

“Tennis is my job,” Zacarias told Universal Tennis. “I do care about points, but I also want to win money. I want to invest in my career, but I don't want to lose money going to ITF’s. This year it's been really important to play on the UTR PTT.”

After three titles in a row in July, Zacarias returned home to San Luis Potosi, Mexico to regroup and prepare for another stretch in the U.S. later this summer.

Zacarias and Universal Tennis, a Love Match

The 27-year-old first discovered UTR PTT through a friend and hopped on a plane to the U.S. to see what it was all about. She loved the energetic and supportive atmosphere surrounding PTT, which just passed the six-month mark.

“I'd heard good things I was just like you know what, I'll just go and see,” Zacarias said. “Playing at least three matches was important to me, and then it's great prize money—even if you lose, you can still play and you get guaranteed money. All the tournament directors and referees have a new vibe and energy. People really want to help if you need anything.”



Building Her Lengthy Career

Zacarias has played at every level of the sport, enjoying her fair share of success on the ITF Tour both as a junior and a professional. In 2012, she was the No. 7-ranked junior in the world and turned pro at 18.

Throughout her career, Zacarias has won 26 ITF Pro Circuit doubles titles and 16 in singles (including four in a row in Cancun in 2019), reaching the Top 200 on the WTA Tour in 2015. She’s played in the qualifying of the US Open and Australian Open’s and has represented Mexico in Fed Cup for 20 ties.

The Mexican’s career has had its ups and downs and now she’s more motivated than ever to compete thanks to Universal Tennis’ consistent match play and prize money opportunities.

Zacarias began her 2021 season by playing three ITFs and a WTA qualifying event in Guadalajara, before winning her debut PTT tournament in Newport in May. She’d add her second PTT title later that month in Las Vegas. In July, she won back-to-back-to-back titles in Newport, Dallas, and Atlanta. She’s currently riding an 18-match win streak that dates back to June 27.

Zacarias has gained valuable momentum in 2021 on the UTR PTT. (Photo: Jason Brown)

“I got a lot of confidence by winning the first one,” Zacarias said. “It just happened. My husband was with me at the last final, and he was like, ‘I don't believe this. This is something really, really special.’ When I came back home, that’s when I realized what had happened.”

She named the Las Vegas final, a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 win over Vivian Ovrootsky (UTR Rating 10.89), as her most memorable match so far out of the 30 she has won.

“In the third set I was losing 2-0 or 3-0, so I was really sad because I was going to lose,” Zacarias said. “I don't know how I ended up winning. I was really happy and I was crying because I was tired after a lot of matches. It's the nicest memory because it's the one that's the hardest one to win.”

Universal Tennis Provides Solutions

What’s attracted her to Universal Tennis has been consistent match play and financial security, something players can’t get anywhere else. In a 32-player UTR PTT draw, she’s guaranteed $300 for playing, $725 for finishing in 5th-8th place, $1,750 for second place, and $3,475 for winning the title.

The majority of Zacarias’ wins on the ITF Tour have come at the lowest level (called W15s) near her home base in Mexico. At ITF W15s, winners receive $2,352 and first-round losers get just $147.

“When I found out about the UTR PTT, I was like I need to play these tournaments to help my career and to start traveling more,” Zacarias said. “This year, I already played some UTR PTTs and some ITFs, and it gets you going. It’s the support you need because at ITFs you don't make money. It's really sad because you’re not winning enough money even though you're getting points.”

The 27-year-old has a spotless 30-0 record on the UTR PTT tour.
(Photo: Jason Brown)

She’s the type of player that blossoms with a lot of match play, and Universal Tennis’ unique format provides that with each UTR PTT event including a round-robin followed by knock-out playoffs.

“Not everyone is the same, but I love playing a lot of matches…” Zacarias said. “A lot of ITF and WTA players are competing on PTT so the level is really high. It's really good to play these tournaments because you get a lot of matches and it's good for your confidence. I love it.”

About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour

The PTT is open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2000, and wild cards can be awarded to those players with a UTR Ranking of 1-199 or above 2000. Every PTT event creates matchplay opportunities for up-and-coming, collegiate, and pro players thanks to a unique round-robin format. At every event, a group round-robin stage is followed by a World Cup-style playoff, guaranteeing multiple matches and counting all results towards the UTR Rating, the most accurate rating system in tennis. Every PTT event offers 4-5 matches and a minimum of $20,000 in prize money with an earnings guarantee for every participant.

For more information about UTR PTT and to see all of the results, click here.

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