UTR Pro Match Series Awesome While It Lasted

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Mother Nature wreaked havoc on south Florida Sunday. With steady rain – at times reaching a downpour and with flood warnings – and no letting up in the forecast, the final day of the UTR Pro Match Series in West Palm Beach was cancelled with no official winner declared. Patience was no virtue in the ultimate outcome.

Officials called off all play at 2:55 p.m. EDT. A Tennis.com live blog stated, “Unfortunately, the remainder of the event will not be played out as a result of the day’s downpour and impending weather.”

“It’s disappointing, but overall the team at UTR are so excited to bring back tennis and live sports across the world,” said tournament director Stephen Amritraj, as quoted by Tennis.com. “We’ve gotten so much interest globally from people who love what we’re doing.”

Throughout Sunday, there were little signs pointing to an improvement of the weather, which halted the final group play match between 51st-ranked Danielle Collins and No. 56 Ajla Tomljanovic Saturday afternoon, tied at a set each. Collins had evened the match at 3-4 (4), 4-3 (6), winning on her seventh set point.

The two were scheduled to resume their match at 11 a.m. Sunday morning, with the winner moving on to face top seed and 19th-ranked Alison Riske in the championship match. However, due to the inclement weather, Collins and Tomljanovic never got on court.

Then, at 12:07 p.m. EDT, the third-place match that would have seen the Collins-Tomljanovic loser face 28th-ranked Amanda Anisimova was cancelled. Finally, after four hours all play was cancelled. Therefore, the leaderboard from Saturday became the final standings, with Riske finishing in first place with a 2-1 win-loss record and 21-21 in all games. Both Collins and Tomljanovic went 1-1 and Anisimova ended 1-2.

“The players have been so excited to be out there,” said Tennis Channel‘s Lindsay Davenport, commenting on the UTR Pro Match Series remotely from the Tennis Channel studios in Los Angeles. “We’ve seen some great tennis out there, first event back after 10 or 11 weeks.”

At the start of Sunday’s Tennis Channel broadcast, both Collins and Tomljanovic were seen waiting out the rain delay in their respective tents located a short walk from the solitary hard court used for the three-day exhibition. Each shared conversation with their boyfriends seated near them. Indeed, everyone in both camps had plenty time to chat, enjoy their Sunday morning coffee and check their smartphones. Time turned out to be a better ally than the weather.

Sunday night, Riske wrote on Twitter: “…Unfortunately, it didn’t end as expected, but it was awesome while it lasted.”