Jack Draper at the 2022 US Open

EXCLUSIVE: Jack Draper backs UTS format to inspire next generation

Rising star Jack Draper is adamant that the Ultimate Tennis Showdown’s innovative features will inspire the next generation of British talent thanks to its important message of ‘enjoying the game’. 

World-renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou, the man behind the concept, founded the competition in an attempt to entice a younger audience to tennis – a sport which lacks age diversity. 

Enjoy the game

Mouratoglou faced challenges in bringing his tour to London this weekend, the capital city of a traditionally conservative country when it comes to tennis, but Draper has backed the French tycoon. 

“This concept is better for younger players,” Jack Draper exclusively told Tennishead ahead of his debut at the UTS Grand Final.

“There is a lot to be fun about tennis – it’s not just the long hard points and the long slog of the game. You can come and have fun. There’s players like [Gaël] Monfils and [Alexander] Bublik practicing their touch and just having a good time. 

“That’s what tennis is all about – especially for a young player. It’s about enjoying the game and trying to have fun.”

The fast-paced, innovative format that UTS is known for facilitates a more engaging watch for the new generation of youngsters. 

“I hope young people come and watch this event. There is not just myself, there are other top players who have been at the top for a long time,” Draper continued. 

Money talks

Many of the players in the eight-man line-up, which includes Andrey Rublev and Holger Rune, did not shy away from expressing their gratitude for the encouraging prize money that is on offer this weekend. 

“The concept is amazing because there is decent prize money on the line which is incentivising the players to want to win,” Draper added. 

“Obviously there is a fun aspect to it as well where there are different scoring formats and little tricks. So I think, even though it is not incredibly serious, it is serious for the players to win.” 

World No5 Rublev was another player to mention the prize money when asked whether the UTS will feature as a staple part in his 2024 calendar. 

“Why not?,” the Russian replied. “You come here for three days. You have amazing organisation and they pay you great money. 

“It’s like a holiday if I’m being honest.” 

Inside the baseline…

The prize money on offer over the course of the weekend is definitely a seismic factor in enticing some of the world’s elite players to the UTS lineup, but Mouratoglou’s idea clearly resonates with those stars. The Frenchman’s aim to revolutionise tennis is well timed and welcomed in the realms of the sport, despite some expected controversy. With the sport’s average fan passing the age of 60, tennis needs to appeal to the next generation and the concept of UTS is one of the more effective ways of bridging that gap.

READ NEXT: UTS: A guide to the Ultimate Tennis Showdown

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.