3 min read
The second season of the UTR Pro Tennis Tour kicked off with record-setting events in Dubai setting the tone for the new year. Eleven PTT events took place in the United States, Spain, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates.
Thomas Laurent (UTR Rating 13.88) and Marcela Zacarias (11.60) continued their PTT title-winning ways in January after earning the year-end awards for Most PTT Titles Won in 2021. For the first time ever, PTT events were hosted in Dubai, with increased prize money and free hospitality.
PTT Thrives in Dubai
Moldovian teenager Ilya Snitari (13.72) won the first-ever PTT event in the United Arab Emirates during the week of Jan. 3-9 at the PTT $30K+H. Rackets Academy is the first host site to off free hospitality to players and increased the financial commitment from $25K to $30K, marking the first prize money boost in PTT history.
When Snitari first heard about the Dubai PTT tournaments, he wasn't sure he'd be even rated high enough to enter given how strong the field was. Not only did he get in, but he went 9-1 across the two weeks.
"I really love to play tournaments and to play a lot of matches," the 19-year-old Snitari said. "Of course, when you win tournaments, I also love this. I think the most important difference between the PTT and the ITF tournaments is when you go to play ITF, you can lose in the first round and for six days you're off and you just stay practice. I really love the PTT format where you play every day and you get experience and a lot of good matches against a lot of great opponents."
The second men's PTT event in Dubai was held the following week, Jan. 10-16, with the final not played due to weather and scheduling conflicts. Oscar Jose Gutierrez and Martins Podzus were the co-champions (Snitari lost in the semifinals to Gutierrez).
Laurent and Zacarias Keep Rolling
In Newport Beach during the second week of January, Zacarias earned her 10th career PTT title and first of the new year. The 27-year-old Mexican won all six of her matches, including a 7-5, 6-1 win in the final over American Amy Zhu.
Zacarias is coming off a phenomenal 2021 season where she picked up over $34K in PTT prize money and capped the year off by making her acting debut in King Richard as Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
Over in Barcelona, Laurent captured his fifth PTT title and extended his PTT win streak to 18 by winning the Jan. 23-30 PTT $25K in Spain on clay.
College Student Sets the Tone
Florida Golf Coast University's Janmagnus Johnson (13.50) picked up the title at the Jan. 3-9 PTT $25K in Naples before starting his redshirt sophomore dual season at the No. 1 position. The 21-year-old won a tight final over fellow American Alexander Kotzen, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4. So far in 2022, he's 6-0 on the PTT and 4-0 at FGCU.
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.
UTR Ratings as of Feb. 2, 2022, at 9 a.m. EST.