Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams and operator of the tennis academy that bears his name, has passionately argued that “robotic” players and a draconian ATP code of conduct are making it difficult for tennis to attract the young audience the game needs to flourish.
Due to the disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mouratoglou has an opportunity to test-drive his theories via the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS), a five-weekend, 10-player, round-robin event. Players will be encouraged to be more expressive, and contrasting personalities will stand out with the aid of innovations like a brisk scoring system and on-court coaching.
“I don’t like to say that the pandemic has given us opportunity,” Mouratoglou told ESPN.com on Thursday. “It doesn’t sound so good. But in every difficult moment there is also opportunity, and we are trying to focus on the positive possibilities.