Australia, 26 June 2020 |

Christopher O’Connell will aim to revive the form he established in a stunning 14-month period when he returns to professional tennis at the UTR Pro Tennis Series in Sydney tomorrow.

The 26-year-old Sydneysider won more professional matches than any other man in 2019 as he claimed two ATP Challenger and three ITF Futures titles.

O’Connell, who has a Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) of 14.83, is determined to regain that momentum as he leads an eight-man Sydney field that also includes Aleksander Vukic, Max Purcell and Rinky Hijikata.

Abbie Myers and Ellen Perez ­– with UTRs of 12.05 and 12.04 respectively – lead the women’s field in Sydney, with Alexandra Bozovic, Taylah Lawless, Lisa Mays and Michaela Haet also competing.

The Sydney event marks the first stop in the UTR Pro Tennis Series, which takes place in five Australian cities and continues until August. Further events begin in Melbourne and Brisbane on Monday, with Perth and Adelaide hosting later instalments.

The domestic tournaments provide players with the opportunity to compete for $450,000 in prize money following the suspension of the international tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Our aim through the UTR Pro Tennis Series is to give as many of our athletes the chance to compete and, importantly, also earn prize money, after months of not being able to make their living playing the sport they have devoted their lives to,” explained Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.

Players enter using their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), giving them an opportunity to compete locally and have their results count globally via the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system.

Marc Polmans, Alex Bolt, Blake Mott, Luke Saville and Harry Bourchier are among the men who will compete as action begins at the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne on Monday.

The women’s field in Melbourne is led by Storm Sanders and Destanee Aiava, with Belinda Woolcock, Ivana Popovic, Gabriella Da Silva-Fick and Talia Gibson also competing.

The 25-year-old Sanders, who has a UTR of 12.48, resumed her singles career last October after a two-year break and will welcome the chance to draw on the work that continued through the tour shutdown.  “I’m trying to make the most of the time by setting little fitness goals, watching some of my recent match footage in both singles and doubles and trying to find ways to improve,” Sanders recently commented.

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Jason Kubler is among the men who will return to professional tennis in Brisbane. With a UTR of 14.84, the Queenslander leads an eight-man field that also includes John-Patrick Smith, Adam Walton and Maverick Banes.

Lizette Cabrera and Maddison Inglis will aim to resume the strong form they demonstrated early in the 2020 season. Cabrera, who has a UTR of 12.48, was a quarterfinalist at the Hobart International while Inglis claimed back-to-back Australian Pro Tour titles in Burnie and Perth in February to help achieve a UTR of 12.37.

Full fields for the first UTR Pro Tennis Series events:

Christopher O’Connell 14.83
Aleksandar Vukic 14.79
Max Purcell 14.52
Rinky Hijikata 13.86
Jordan Smith 13.31
Benard Nkomba 13.30
Kody Pearson 13.09
Matt Reid 14.28
Abbie Myers 12.05
Ellen Perez 12.04
Alexandra Bozovic 11.57
Taylah Lawless 10.66
Lisa Mays 10.55
Michaela Haet 10.15
Marc Polmans 14.73
Alex Bolt 14.71
Blake Mott 14.57
Luke Saville 14.42
Harry Bourchier 14.17
Dayne Kelly 14.15
Jacob Grills 14.02
Joshua Charlton 13.61
Storm Sanders 12.48
Destanee Aiava 12.22
Belinda Woolcock 11.87
Ivana Popovic 11.81
Gabriella Da Silva-Fick 11.47
Talia Gibson 11.15
Jason Kubler 14.84
John-Patrick Smith 14.81
Adam Walton 14 00
Maverick Banes 13.78
Alexander Crnokrak 13.65
Calum Puttergill 13.60
Thomas Fancutt 13.58
Dane Sweeny 13.38
Lizette Cabrera 12.48
Maddison Inglis 12.37
Sara Tomic 11.48
Olivia Tjandramulia 11.36
Naiktha Bains 11.84
Olivia Gadecki 10.77

All matches will be streamed via Tennis Australia’s Youtube channel here: