So that’s how it works, right? Play the PTT, win the US Open. “That’s the headline,” Routliffe said in between laughs.
OK, so it’s not quite that simple.
But on her path to Grand Slam success, Routliffe (UTR Doubles Rating 11.67) says the UTR PTT played a crucial role at a pivotal time in her career, the same role the PTT, with its guaranteed matches and prize money, plays for hundreds of players around the world every week.
“I would definitely recommend the tournaments. They were really great,” she said.
Routliffe played a $25K PTT event in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2021. The world was still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the upper rungs of professional tennis hadn’t yet returned to regular status.
She had a friend in the Atlanta area and decided to give the local PTT tournament a try. She quickly became a fan.
“I really liked that you were guaranteed matches,” she said. “At the end of the week, it was pretty exhausting because of all the matches. But that's kind of what you want, you want to be getting better.”
It can be difficult competing on the professional tennis tours. You’re at a new tournament almost every week, trying to adjust the conditions while searching for momentum and, most importantly, wins.
You might fly to a tournament and lose your first match. Have that happen a few times in a row, and your confidence can wane, Routliffe said.
“You're not confident. Then you want more matches, but then if you are losing, you can't get more matches,” she said.
At the PTT event in Atlanta, Routliffe played matches and earned confidence. The New Zealand native went 5-1 and reached the final of the event, falling to Jessica Luisa Alsola (UTR Singles Rating 11.05) of Canada.
Routliffe, who played four years of collegiate tennis at the University of Alabama, also appreciated the guaranteed high level of the PTT event, since only players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2,000 are eligible, and its guaranteed money.
At all PTT events, which are held around the world, players are guaranteed matches and prize money. Every PTT tournament features a group round-robin stage, followed by a World Cup-style playoff.
In addition, all results count towards players’ UTR Ratings, the gold standard and most accurate measure of a player’s true skill level.
Routliffe also was pleasantly surprised with the crowds at the James Creek Tennis Center.
“I honestly was really impressed with the way that it was set up,” Routliffe said. “There was actually a decent amount of people watching the matches when I was there, too, which I thought was very cool.”
There probably weren’t quite as many people at the Atlanta PTT event as there were in Arthur Ashe Stadium when she and Dabrowski won the US Open women’s doubles title in September.
But the UTR PTT still played a key role in Routliffe’s tennis career, one she recommends to all aspiring professional tennis players.
Read more about the UTR Pro Tennis Tour