UTR Pro Tennis Tour Stars Take Over Melbourne

UTR Pro Tennis Tour Stars Take Over Melbourne

The Australian Open main draw is days away from starting but qualifying has already proven very interesting. A slew of UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) players have had milestone victories in Melbourne this week, and are poised to make an impact in the main draw, which begins this Sunday.

Volynets Repeats

Still just 22 years old, American Katie Volynets (UTR Rating 11.88) qualified for the main draw to mark the fifth time she has earned her way into the main draw of a major. She’s enjoyed her best performance Down Under last year when she reached the third round. Volynets competed on the PTT in Newport Beach back in 2021.

Sweeny Sweeps into Main

Dane Sweeny (14.03) entered the qualifying draw as a wild card and earned his place in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time. The 22-year-old is a four-time PTT champion and relied heavily on the tour during the pandemic lockdown in Australia.

Dane Sweeny hits a forehand.
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Jasika Seals Berth

Omar Jasika (14.03) is back in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time since 2017. He won each of his matches this week in three sets, including a win over fellow UTR Pro Tennis tour player Zachary Svajda.

Jasika has played a ton of PTT events, even as early as 2020 when the tour was called the UTR Pro Tennis Series. He won his first PTT title last year in Melbourne.

Knutson Break Through

Gabriela Knutson (11.80) used the PTT to find out if she had what it takes to pursue a professional career full-time. It turns out she does, and then some. This week, the 26-year-old was playing her first Grand Slam ever and battled to the final round of qualifying.

Gabriela Knutson competes on the UTR Pro Tennis Tour.

The former Syracuse standout won four ITF titles in 2023, raising her ranking inside of the WTA Top 200 for the first time.

Aiva Scores Big Wins

Australian Destanee Aiava (11.33) made good on her wild card entry by winning two rounds of qualifying, including an upset over experienced Swiss Jil Teichmann. The 23-year-old won a UTR Pro Tennis Tour title on the Gold Coast in September.

Stearns to Start with Challenge

Peyton Stearns (12.09), the Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Award winner in 2023, is going into the first major of the year ranked inside of the WTA Top 50. She enjoyed a huge breakthrough in New York last summer by reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

The 22-year-old American has got her hands full in the opening round as she’s set to face No. 14 seed Daria Kasatkina.

Peyton Stearns hits a serve.

A number of other PTT Americans are in the main draw, including Taylor Townsend, Kayla Day, Alex Michselsen, Ben Shelton, McCartney Kessler, James McCabe, Adam Walton,Taylah Preston, and Yuliia Starodubtseva.

About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT)

The UTR Pro Tennis Tour officially began in 2021 to support tennis globally with prize money, venue support, technology, logistics, and competitive play opportunities. The PTT was started to create a development tour. With fewer events and substantially reduced prize money, aspiring professional players are increasingly struggling in the pursuit of their dreams. Working with host venues and national Federations, PTT provides additive and complementary opportunities to help emerging players and the broader tennis community.

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