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The UTR Pro Tennis Tour hosted 16 events in March in 9 cities spread across Spain, the United States, Croatia, The Netherlands, and Romania. All events guaranteed at least three matches per player and offered $20,000 in prize money. Let's learn more about some of the champions.
Taylor Townsend (UTR Rating 11.21) made a triumphant return to pro tennis, Ivan Nedelko (13.81) picked up titles in two different cities, 18-year-old American Martin Damm Jr. (13.85) won his first PTT title before making his ATP debut, and The Rick Macci Tennis Academy hosted its first-ever event.
Townsend Enjoys Comeback
In her first tournament since the 2020 US Open, Townsend won the PTT $25K Bradenton during the week of Feb. 28. It marks the 25-year-old American's first trophy since 2019 and first as a mother after welcoming a son in March 2021. During her week of competition at the IMG Academy, Townsend won all six of her matches in straight sets.
Townsend has been in the tennis spotlight since her teenage years when she reached as high as No. 1 in the world as a junior. As a pro, she has been as far as the fourth round at the Grand Slam level and has been ranked as high as No. 61 on the WTA Tour.
PTT Champion Makes ATP Debut
Damm won the PTT $25K Bradenton IMG Men's event during the week of March 7 with six victories. He was awarded a wild card into the Miami Open qualifying draw where he'd make his debut at the ATP level. Though he lost to Daniel Elahi Galan (14.94), it was a great learning experience for the teen.
Damm is the son of Martin Damm Sr., a retired Czech player who won the 2006 US Open doubles crown and was an ATP Top 50 singles player in the 1990s. Damm Jr. trains full-time at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Pro Tennis Arrives in Boca
For the first time ever, the Rick Macci Tennis Academy hosted a UTR Pro Tennis Tour event by welcoming top men's players to their impressive facility in Boca Raton, Fla. during the week of March 21. Sekou Bangoura (13.67) won the title over 20-year-old American Preston Brown (13.03). Bangoura had reached the final of the PTT in Bradenton earlier in the month, losing to Damm.
"It's nice to play a lot of matches and that's why I love these tournaments because you get to play matches," Bangoura said. "This week was a pretty stacked field so you're guaranteed quality matches all week and it feels really good... Everybody practices really hard but being in a match is completely different. For me, it's all about getting those reps and being put in that position over and over; it's like muscle memory."
The Macci Academy has created a unique environment for fostering tennis, led by Director of High Performance, Jason Zafiros. Zafiros hosts the Battle of Boca every weekend, offering $10,000 in prize money and wild cards into PTT events.
The Battle of Boca allows for local players and academy students to earn their place in professional competitions taking place in their backyard. The Macci Academy will host its first women's PTT event in May as well as more men's events in May and June.
Semenistaja Thrives on the PTT
Darja Semenistaja (11.44) won her first PTT title of the season and fourth overall, in Barcelona, after reaching the final the week prior. The 19-year-old Latvian plays regularly on both the PTT and ITF tours, winning three PTT crowns and four ITF titles last year.
About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour
The PTT is open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2000, and wild cards can be awarded to those players with a UTR Ranking of 1-199 or above 2000. Every PTT event creates matchplay opportunities for up-and-coming, collegiate, and pro players thanks to a unique round-robin format. At every event, a group round-robin stage is followed by a World Cup-style playoff, guaranteeing multiple matches and counting all results towards the UTR Rating, the most accurate rating system in tennis. Every PTT event offers 4-5 matches and a minimum of $20,000 in prize money with an earnings guarantee for every participant.
For more information about UTR PTT and to see all of the results, click here.
UTR Ratings as of Feb. 28, 2022, at 9 a.m. EST.