Novak Djokovic Foundation is sponsoring the UTR Pro Match Series this weekend
- The Novak Djokovic Foundation is sponsoring the UTR series where there will be live tennis after a nearly 2-month break.
- The tournament features four players in a round-robin format.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has announced via Twitter that his foundation would be sponsoring the UTR Pro Match Series this weekend, even though the player himself is not participating.
The UTR, acronym for Universal Tennis Ranking, claims to be the most accurate international tennis ranking system. It rates professional, college, junior and recreational players, regardless of gender or nationality.
The rating is done on a scale of 16 points, based on factors like strength of opponent, games won and last 30 matches within a 12-month period.
The UTR Pro Match Series strives to showcase, especially during the difficult COVID-19 lockdown period, how tennis can be played locally and safely through one-on-one match play.
UTR Pro Match Series is a prize money tournament and not an exhibition. The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has reviewed the tournament to ensure compliance, and the games can be watched on Tennis Channel or tennis.com.
Results from the UTR Pro Match series would be included in a player's universal tennis rating (UTR).
The UTR Pro Match Series events will follow all necessary safety precautions and implement strict screening, cleaning and social distancing measures for players, officials and staff. All matches will be held at a private court in the West Palm Beach in Florida and would have no spectators or public access.
There will be no spectators, handshaking, ball kids or line judges. One chair umpire will oversee the match, and the court and facility will be professionally disinfected before and after play. Each player will be provided with their own set of marked balls for use during matches.
The first UTR Pro Match series will be held from 8 to 10 May. A four-player men's round-robin event begins at 12:00 noon ET each day, with 3 hours of live coverage on Tennis Channel.
The UTR Pro-Match series from 8-10 May would feature the following four players:
Reilly Opelka - 3rd ranked American, ATP #39, UTR 15.51 (#25)
Hubert Hurkacz - 1st ranked Player in Poland, ATP #29, UTR 15.35 (#47)
Miomir Kecmanovic - 3rd ranked Serbian, ATP #47, UTR 15.38 (#43)
Tommy Paul - 6th ranked American, ATP #57, UTR 15.31 (#58).
What does the Novak Djokovic Foundation do?
The Novak Djokovic Foundation (NDF), founded by Novak Djokovic, works for the betterment of children by providing for their early education. It takes a collaborative approach and works with local authorities to train and empower teachers and create self-sustaining schools and programs.
The NDF has positively changed the lives of over 20000 children and 980 families, and has trained over 1500 teachers.
Novak Djokovic's 2020 season so far
Novak Djokovic started the 2020 season by winning all six of his singles matches at the inaugural ATP Cup for Team Serbia. The Serb then beat six-time champion Roger Federer in the Australian Open semifinals before recovering from a two sets to one deficit against Dominic Thiem to win a record-extending eighth title Down Under.
With the win in Melbourne, Djokovic returned to the top of the world rankings.
The 32-year-old then won his fifth title in Dubai to go 18-0 for the season before the COVID-19 outbreak forced the ATP to suspend the tour until 13 July.