An exhibition tournament of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown Series (UTS) took place in Frankfurt, Germany last weekend. The event, founded in 2020 by the famous coach Patrick Mouratoglou and the businessman Alex Popyrin, father of the Australian tennis player of Russian origin Alexei Popyrin, was held for the sixth time. And the victory was obtained by the sixth number in the world ranking, the Russian Andrei Rublev.
The format of the tournament is quite unusual: in exhibition events, organizers are free to play with the rules however they want. To begin with, players do not act with their first and last name, but with nicknames. Then, Rublev was announced as Ruble. The matches are not made up of sets, but of quarters, which are also played against time. To win a match it is necessary to win three quarters, and the points won are counted in the natural format (1, 2, 3…), and not in the tennis format (15, 30, 40). And if the score in the quarterfinals is 2-2, the so-called “sudden death” is played, and the match ends as soon as one of the tennis players achieves two draws in a row.
Rublev was in a group with Diego Schwartzman, Gael Monfils and Christopher Eubanks. Starting with a defeat and achieving two victories in his quartet (over the last two tennis players), the Russian reached the semifinals. At this stage he took care of Benoit Paire.
“Who is that Ruble? How does he hit the ball so hard? – said Per after the semi-final, whose words were quoted by the press service of the competition.
And in the decisive match, Rublev defeated Grigor Dimitrov: 14:13, 12:17, 11:10, 17:16. After beating Dimitrov, the Russian did not mince words. “If I were a girl, I would fall completely in love with Grigor. Even as a man I am in love with Grigor,” joked Andrei, whose words Sportskeeda quotes.
Andrey Rublev after winning the UTS 6 final
Photo: Press service of the UTS tournament
Initially, Daniil Medvedev was also supposed to speak at UTS 6. But the difficult US Open exhausted the Russian tennis leader and he withdrew from the competition. Dimitrov played instead of Daniil. “The last two weeks have been very hard on me and my body, probably the hardest I’ve had on tour. It’s really disappointing because I wanted to play in front of you. I like this event and its format, so I wish good luck to all participants and organizers,” Medvedev explained his decision, as quoted by the contest organizers.
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Daniel, by the way, has already participated in this contest once. This was in May 2021. So the Russian did not leave the group. But that tournament allowed him to reset properly and seriously improve his game. Judge for yourself: that season Medvedev left the competition in the quarterfinals of the tough Miami Masters (a failed result by his standards), and then failed in the clay tournaments of the same category in Madrid and Rome, reaching only the third and second round. , respectively. And after UTS 4, Daniil reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros (this is still his best result at a clay Major), then won the tournament in Mallorca, the Toronto Masters and, most importantly! – US Open, defeating the great Novak Djokovic in the final.
We can only hope that something similar happens to Rublev after participating in UTS, especially since Andrey has now been more successful than Daniil two years ago. Rublev failed at the North American Masters, losing in both cases in the first matches of the tournament. Yes, at the US Open he reached the quarterfinals, which seems not bad at all. But Andrey again failed to overcome this enchanted barrier, for the ninth time in his career.
“I yelled ‘doctor’ three times!” Hell intervened in the Medvedev-Rublev battle at the US Open
At the end of this week, Rublev will play with the European team in the Laver Cup, which this time will be held in Vancouver (Canada). The tournament is included in the official ATP calendar, but no points are awarded for it. Andrey will miss both Chinese 250 tournaments this week: in Chengdu and Zhuhai. But in the “500” in Beijing, which will be held from September 28 to October 4, all the strongest players are scheduled to play, with the exception of Novak Djokovic.
Rublev needs points, because he himself, according to him, intends to reach the final. “I would like to reach the Final Tournament. We’ll see, I still don’t evaluate my chances at all. The goal is to at least get there. This would be a good confirmation that not everything is like that, [если] qualify for the final four years in a row. This means that I really have the level to be among the 8 best players in the world. By level I mainly mean stability,” Andrey said on the “Bolshe” YouTube channel.
In general, exhibition tournaments are a great thing. First, semi-competitive tennis players can stay in shape. Secondly, fans have an additional opportunity to see their favorites play. Finally, the financial factor is also important, even for millionaires, who are the best tennis players.