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Mouratoglou’s Ultimate Tennis Showdown plans return in 2023

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

PARIS (AP) A tennis league founded by coach Patrick Mouratoglou that played exhibition matches when the pro tours were shut down during the coronavirus pandemic plans to return in 2023 with four events.

The Ultimate Tennis Showdown, or UTS, announced Thursday that it will hold matches in July, September, November and December in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The specific sites and players will be revealed later.

The league uses different rules - including four 8-minute quarters - and increased access like mid-match interviews with players, in what it calls a bid to "attract a larger and younger tennis fanbase."

UTS made its debut without spectators in France in June 2020, when WTA and ATP tournaments were on hiatus because of COVID-19.

Mouratoglou was the longtime coach for 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who closed out her playing career this season. He recently began working with Simona Halep, who was provisionally suspended in October after failing a drug test.

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Updated December 1, 2022

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