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This month, 20 UTR Pro Tennis Tour events took place in nine countries and 13 cities all over the world. One of the youngest new champions was American teenager Luciana Perry, while Croatia’s Deni Zmak played his fifth PTT final in a row, and Mexico’s Marcela Zacarias won her ninth PTT trophy.
Luciana Perry Wins First Pro Title
At the very start of October, 17-year-old Luciana Perry (UTR Rating 9.98) won six matches to capture her first professional title, in Georgia, at the PTT Atlanta Women's $25K Hard 5. The American teen bounced back to beat compatriot Ashton Bowers (UTR Rating 9.56) in the final, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, and dropped just two sets the entire week.
Perry learned the game from her mom Marianna, a teaching pro at the Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford, Pa. She began playing PTT in April with a wild card into Group D of the PTT Naples Women's $25K Hard 2.
"I loved it," Perry told Universal Tennis. "It was one of the best tournament experiences I've ever had. Every other PTT I played was incredible."
In August, Perry made a run to the final of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 16's National Championships in San Diego as the No. 33 seed before going on to win the PTT in Atlanta.
"Playing a lot of tournaments is definitely a priority for me, especially these types of tournaments," Perry said. "I get to play so many matches, work on skills, and I can watch video after since these matches are all live-streamed."
Deni Zmak Makes the Most of His Time on Court
Over in Europe, Deni Zmak (UTR Rating 13.47) reached his fifth final in five PTT appearances. He's gone 2-3 in PTT finals, winning his first title in August in Slovenia and his second title in October in his home country of Croatia. The 32-year-old father of two balances a full-time job in software engineering with his PTT playing career.
In his PTT debut in July, Zmak reached the final of the PTT Croatia Men's $25K Clay 1, before winning the PTT Slovenia Men's $25K Clay 1, reaching the final of the Slovenia Clay 2, winning the Croatia Clay 2, and reaching the final of the PTT Denmark $25K Men's Hard 2 Indoor. His overall PTT record is 26-4.
"I enjoy it," Zmak told Universal Tennis. "In this period of my life, I'm not pursuing tennis as much anymore but I'm using the chances to play these tournaments that are close to my home. It's also good because I can get some extra money for playing well, so it's technically a perfect combination."
Marcela Zacarias Wins Ninth PTT Title
Few players on any tour have been as impressive as Marcela Zacarias (UTR Rating 11.47) in 2021. In October, the 27-year-old Mexican won her eighth and ninth PTT titles, both in Newport Beach.
In the final of the PTT Newport Beach Women’s $25K Hard 10, Zacarias beat Nazari Urbina (UTR Rating 9.74) 6-1, 6-1, and, in the PTT Newport Beach Women’s $25K Hard 11 final, she eased past Rebecca Lynn (UTR Rating 10.15), 6-1, 6-1.
Zacarias' overall record in the last 12 months has been 76-14, complete with a 35-match win streak and seven PTT titles in a row starting from her debut in Newport Beach in May. Her PTT record is 64-1, having won nine of the ten events she has entered.
Her success has carried over to the ITF Tour where she reached the final of a W60 in Berkeley, Calif., and the semifinals of W80 in Tyler, Texas (where she also won the doubles title), all in October.
Greek Teenager Shines in Barcelona
Zacarias was the only multiple PTT champion in October, but Perry was not the only teenage champion. Greek 18-year-old Sapfo Sakellaridi (UTR Rating 11.06) competed in three finals this month, winning her second career PTT title, in Barcelona, during the week of Oct. 25-31. She compiled a 13-3 PTT record in the month of October.
The teenager began playing PTT events in September, starting on the right foot with a title run at the PTT Czech Republic Women’s $25K Clay 3, making her overall 2021 PTT record 18-3.
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 Nov. 1, 2021, at 9 a.m. EST.