Aussie Dane Sweeny hits a forehand during a professional tennis match

Match Tough Sweeny Shares How UTR Pro Tennis Tour Helped Career Climb

Before Aussie Dane Sweeny was qualifying for the 2024 Australian Open and eyeing the Top 100, he was stuck.

It was June 2020. Governments across the world were restricting movement because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was especially the case in Sweeny’s home of Australia, where even interstate travel had been banned.

Sweeny, then 19, needed a way to keep accelerating his promising tennis career. Enter the innovative UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT).

As the ATP, ITF, and WTA tours canceled events everywhere, the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (first called the UTR Pro Tennis Series) hosted tennis tournaments throughout the world in a safe and player-friendly way.

For thousands of aspiring professional players, including Sweeny, the tour was – and continues to be – the ideal way to play guaranteed matches and earn guaranteed money. Last year, players from across the globe completed more than 10,000 matches on the PTT.

Sweeny, for his part, played a total of 44 PTT matches from June-December 2020, and he never had to leave Brisbane.


“It was great to have the UTRs in my backyard week after week,” Sweeny told UTR Sports. “It's a really good opportunity to work on things and develop your game, and just the volume of matches, it does wonders for your tennis. Also, it does wonders to develop that part of you that finds a way to win.”

He went 22-22 during the inaugural year of the UTR Pro Tennis Series. In 2021, on the UTR Pro Tennis Tour, he raised his level, going 55-27 and winning three titles. The 5-foot-7 right-hander said he greatly benefited from the consistent matchplay the innovative PTT format offers.

“When you're match after match, you start to feel super comfortable on the match court. If I'm having a bad patch on the ITF circuit, or the ATP Challenger circuit, you can be playing one, maybe two matches a week. So even though you're playing tournament after tournament, you don't really feel that match tough,” Sweeny said.

“The UTR format forces you to play matches, even if you're losing. So you feel super match tough, and that's just that's a great feeling. It builds a lot of confidence and that's easily translatable to the bigger tournaments. You carry that confidence with you, and that match toughness with you.”


In 2022, Sweeny played only one UTR PTT tournament. But he went 6-0 and took home his fourth PTT title.

The rest of the year, he played a mixture of ITF and ATP Challenger events and advanced a round in the Australian Open qualifying draw.

Last year, he was a mainstay in ATP Challenger draws and beat No. 97 Taro Daniel of Japan for his first tour-level win at the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai.

Sweeny finished the year ranked No. 256 in the ATP Rankings. In 2024, the player who grew up idolizing Lleyton Hewitt's fighting spirit hopes to claw his way to the Top 100.

He's off to a strong start. On Friday, Sweeny, who received a wild card into the Australian Open qualifying draw, advanced to his first Grand Slam main draw when 22nd seed Zizou Bergs of Belgium retired down 5-7, 7-5, 2-0.

“For it to go from something in my imagination to a reality is quite surreal at the moment but I do think I’ve been playing the tennis that is good enough in these big events,” Sweeny told Tennis Australia.

He is one of 15 Aussies in the 2024 Australian Open men's singles draw, the most in 26 years.

And he's not done yet. Sweeny wants to become a Grand Slam mainstay in the near future.

“Top 100 is an achievable yet very challenging goal. Hopefully at the end of 2024 I can put myself in a position where in 2025, I can do main draw every [Grand] Slam,” he said.

“If it happens next year or the year after, it doesn't doesn't really faze me too much. I'm just going to keep focusing on what I need to do to get better, and that will give me the best chance.”

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