Briton Jack Draper wraps up a dominating campaign in London to emerge victorious on debut at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) Grand Final, beating Dane Holger Rune 3 quarters to 1 on Sunday in London.
Jack Draper, who received a wild card to play at the tournament, took the crown undefeated, winning all five contests, collecting $546,800 in prize money, the biggest of his young career to finish his season on a high.
The 21-year-old Briton defeated World No. 8 Holger Rune, 12-14, 15-12, 13-10, 19-7, in the Grand Final, staged at the Exhibition Center London (ExCeL).
After the match, he said: “It’s been a really fun event for players and spectators. We both brought the best out of each other. It’s not easy with this format, but my coach was right behind me, so I was very happy.”
The two young talents first faced off during the group stage, a clash Draper earned, recording a staggering 3-0 victory over the Danish player.
However, the final would see a more competitive version of the player mentored by Boris Becker, making a solid start to take the opener.
From there, the man who just let slip two quarters throughout the weekend shut the door, fending off Rune’s efforts with consistency to become the eventual champion in his maiden appearance at the innovative event.
Over three days of competition, the Sofia open runner-up moved past Rune, Gael Monfils, and Alexander Bublik before battling to overcome Casper Ruud in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old from Gentofte booked his ticket to the final by overpowering the UTS Frankfurt event winner, Andrey Rublev, 20-10, 12-11, 16-11, in a dramatic encounter.
The UTS, a tennis initiative launched by Patrick Mouratoglou in 2020, has been designed to capture the attention of a young fan base and presents a singular scoring system, favoring a fast-paced showing.
The three-day tournament features an eight-player field split into two groups of 4 players (Group A and Group B) in a round-robin schedule.
The Round Robin phase consists of six matches featuring all eight players on Friday and Saturday.
The top two players of each group qualify for the Final Four. Those who clinch victory will battle to progress to the championship match.
Each UTS match has four “quarters” of 8 minutes; the players are allowed only one serve. When the time is up, the quarter points are played.
The first player to score three quarters wins the match, but if the encounter is tied 2-2, a fifth quarter is played in a “Sudden Death” format (the first player to win two straight points earns the contest).
All players receive a “bonus card” they can use, which triples the point in value.
Next year, the first UTS event will run from February 9 to 11 in Oslo, Norway.