UTR Pro Tennis Tour arrives in Britain to help young stars climb the ladder
The UTR Pro Tennis Tour is providing a stage for some of the rising stars of the game to shine – and for 20-year-old British hopeful Harry Wendelken, it provided his breakthrough moment in 2022.
Last month, Harry Wendelken became the first player to win a UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) event in Britain, as he beat Marshall Tutu in the final of an event played in Easton, hosted by The Progress Tour’s Barry Fulcher..
Winning all six matches in the tournament without dropping a set, Wendelken highlighted his potential in a tournament loaded with rising stars of the game.
The UK has become the eighth new country to host the PTT in 2022 and 23rd overall since the tour began in 2021, with the chance to earn prize money and play a high level promoting the game to a new audience.
Universal Tennis is investing over $20M and enabling hundreds of annual events in the UTR Pro Tennis Tour, with Wendelken among plenty benefitting from the ambitious tour.
The UTR Pro Tennis Tour is set to move to the next level in 2023, with an extended calendar around the world offering a stage for players who are aiming to climb the ATP and WTA rankings ladder to shine.
In conversation with Harry Wendelken
Wendelken picked up the game aged just five playing at summer camps. He found a lot of success on the ITF Junior Circuit, reaching as high as No.34 in the world in 2019.
While college coaches came calling when he was a teen, Wendelken and his team weighed the options, and ultimately, he decided to turn pro.
Wendelken is one of six 20-year-old British players in the Top 600 in the ATP rankings, ending the year with a ranking of 532. Like many other rising pros, he is using the PTT to develop for the next step.
What was your impression of the PTT event?
I like the way it was done. Obviously, you got rewarded the better you did, but you still got some prize money. That was a good thing. Also in the final, there were people watching and all of it was live streamed.
I believe it was run really well. I like the system and the number of matches you get. Rather than just being like the usual ATP Challengers where you lose and you’re out of the tournament, you get a lot of matches and play a lot of different opponents.
Would you play a PTT again?
If there were more tournaments in Great Britain, I’d definitely play them again. If they’re abroad, potentially, depending on what my schedule is.
Would you recommend the PTT to other players?
I definitely recommend it to players. You can see a whole range of levels. It’s quite good for local players to see where they’re at. It’s also good for players who are starting out and want to transition to the next (pro level).
How important is it to have events in the UK?
It’s good that there’s been quite a lot [of tournaments] in this country, so you don’t have to travel abroad like I had to in the past for juniors, so that helps out a lot. Also my coach can come with me whereas before he wasn’t able to. I think that’s probably the main difference with having tournaments in the UK is my coach being able to. It’s more relaxed. I feel like it’s much easier.
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