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The first full season of the UTR Pro Tennis Tour wrapped up in December with 20 events in 11 cities and seven countries including Romania, the United States, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, and Bulgaria. Thomas Laurent (UTR Rating 13.88) clinched his award for Most PTT Titles of 2021 in Barcelona, while teenager Alex Michelsen (13.08) picked up his first pro title in Newport Beach.
Laurent Wins Again in Spain
The Frenchman snagged the honor of Most PTT Titles with four event wins in 2021, all in Barcelona. He won the PTT Barcelona Men's $25K Hard 11 during the week of December 12 to stretch his PTT match win record to 12 in a row.
The former college standout at the University of Oregon put together a 37-8 overall PTT record in 2021 and appeared in eight events, winning 50% of them. He won 82% of his matches and earned over $19K in prize money.
On the women's side, Marcela Zacarias (11.49) earned the honor of most PTT titles by winning a whopping nine crowns and earning $34K in prize money. The 27-year-old Mexican had an incredible year, capped off with her acting debut in King Richard where she played the role of Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
Michelsen Victorious in Newport Beach
During the final week of the 2021 season, 17-year-old Californian Michelsen won his first pro title at the PTT Newport Beach Men’s $25K Hard 15. Michelsen upset top seed Brandon Holt (13.95) in the quarterfinals, eased past Learner Tien (12.70) in the semifinals, and took out Isaiah Strode (13.46) in the championship match. He called his win over Holt his best of the year.
"At one point in the match, I was like this guy is unreal, there's no way I win this, and then I just found a way," Michelsen said. "I had two match points in the second and absolutely choked, and then somehow won the third set. I played exceptional."
After a recent official visit, blue-chip recruit Alex Michelsen (UTR 12.84 / #4 in class of 2023 / #2 in CA @TennisRecNet) has verbally committed to @UGAtennis. The 17-yo has an ITF juniors ranking of #237 & reached the USTA National Clay Court Championships final in 18s doubles. pic.twitter.com/WdNTUoNSOh— Parsa Bombs 💣 (@ParsaBombs) October 23, 2021
Michelsen has shown steady improvement since making his PTT debut in February. He appeared in his first PTT semifinals in October and reached his first PTT final in November before his title victory in December. The teen has committed to play college tennis for the University of Georgia in 2023.
Perez Sanz Dominates in Mexico; Markarova Wins Again
In Manzanillo, Mexico, David Perez Sanz (13.10) won 12 matches and two titles in a row in December. The 27-year-old Spaniard piled together 12 straight wins to end his 2021 season on a huge high.
In Newport Beach, Texas A&M senior Tatiana Makarova (10.80) represented college tennis proudly by winning her third title of 2021, while over in Miami, St. John's University graduate Jessica Livianu (10.73) won her first pro title.
Livianu defeated Georgia Tech sophomore Carol Lee (10.88) in the final. As you can tell by Livianu's Instagram post, the victory meant a lot to the 23-year-old from Brooklyn, NY.
The 2022 UTR Pro Tennis Tour season kicks off this week with brand-new men's $30K+H events in Dubai with record-high prize money, offering fully-covered hospitality for players for the first time. Check out more of the calendar here.
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 Jan. 3, 2021, at 9 a.m. EST.