Reilly Opelka is Your 2020 UTR Exo Champion! Was I the Only One to Watch it?
Tennis is scarce nowadays. While tennis is one of the "safer" sports to play during this pandemic, it still is difficult to find someone else to play with you. This might not be the case if you live in Florida. Over the past couple of days, Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) held a friendly exhibition, round-robin style tournament in the heart of Florida (a different country at this point with their own rules during this time).
The tournament had four Top 100 players competing for this prestigious UTR title. Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul, Miomir Kecmanovic, and Hubert Hurkacz all competed at this quarantined tennis court in the heart of this swamp. Originally supposed to have Top 10 player, Matteo Berrettini, and Australian Open pioneer, Tennys Sandgren... both quickly pulled out of the tournament and were replaced by NextGen players, Kecmanovic and Hurkacz.
Played with a shorter/quicker format, 4 games a set and best of 3 sets, the players all played two matches a day. The shorter format has recently been in question to see if we can implement this in other tournaments. Personally, I'd rather have the normal format of 6 games a set... yes it may be quicker and you can get the players to play more matches throughout the day, but this "tournament" seemed to be thrown together so that way the Tennis Channel could just get some content out there.
From Hurkacz waving to the "crowd" when he won, to the racquet touching as the "handshake", I thought this was rushed. We are all dying to bring sports back, at any level! But this was not it... Some tennis social accounts posted that Reilly Opelka was the champion of the UTR Exo and he was even interviewed on the Tennis Channel about the experience, but honestly... who cares. This was a glammed up, exaggerated, and over publicized of showing practice matches.