By Skilder Makona
LOCAL tennis players are in for some exciting times following the introduction of the first-ever Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) tournament aimed at providing the much-needed exposure to youngsters and boost their global rankings
Young Zimbabwean tennis players are set to scale to greater heights with the launch of the inaugural Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system expected to bring competitiveness and give them international exposure.
One of the country’s top seeds Takanyi Garan’anga says the system has become a “gold standard” for assessing tennis recruits on the local and international scene as well as helping them match international standards.
“The UTR is an international standard which is now used to rate players globally. The system helps a lot in producing an objective, consistent and accurate index of players’ skill in tennis. Also the prevalence of so many ranking and rating systems in international tennis confronted coaches globally with serious problems evaluating the calibre of international recruits and by offering a standard, reliable index of skill applicable worldwide, UTR answered this quandary,” he said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a junior extravaganza at Old Hararians Sports Club, tournament director Davison Dhlamini highlighted the need to spread the UTR programme across the country.
“This UTR system brings joy to us as it is cost-effective, now players who can’t afford to travel outside the country can now play locally and get the proper ranking. The event also provides the much-needed exposure to these youngsters and we intend to host the tournament monthly and spread to other provinces of Zimbabwe,” he said.
The Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system is a reliable and accurate index for players’ tennis skill on a single16-point scale from beginners to professional competitors.