KOREA NEWS 'Ultimate Tennis Showdown' in Korea postponed week before tournament

‘Ultimate Tennis Showdown’ in Korea postponed week before tournament


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Ben Shelton reacts during his semifinals game against Wu Yibing at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Carson, California in July. [AP/YONHAP]

The Korea leg of the “Ultimate Tennis Showdown” scheduled for December has been postponed to next year due to “strikes at Australian ports,” UTS said one week before the three-day tournament was set to begin.
“The ongoing strikes at Australian ports has put the delivery of key equipment and technology coming into Korea at risk,” according to UTS in an announcement posted online Friday. “We are determined to bring the best experience to our fans which is why we had to take this difficult decision.”
A field of tennis greats were scheduled to come to Korea for the tournament held in Goyang, Gyeonggi from Dec. 1 to 3. Among them were Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo, the first Korean tennis player to win more than one ATP title, along with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, a former Wimbledon finalist who has sat out all but one ATP tournament during the 2023 season due to January knee surgery and a wrist injury that followed.
Kyrgios, however, pulled out of the tournament earlier this month, citing injury. UTS announced that Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka would replace the Australian player in a Nov. 15 Instagram post, ahead of the postponement news.
Beginning on Monday, ticket holders will be fully reimbursed within seven days, UTS said, although it added that it is working on rescheduling the Seoul tournament for 2024.
Eight players were set to take part in what UTS bills as “reimagined” tennis with “fast and furious rules” — no warm-ups, no lets, at one point sudden death — over the three-day contest planned for Seoul, the third leg of the tournament following previous UT-showdowns in Los Angeles and Frankfurt.
Established in 2020, the league “aims to appeal to a younger, more engaged new generation of fans to grow its fanbase community,” according to founder Patrick Mouratoglou, a French tennis coach who once coached Serena Williams.
Korea is no stranger to all-star sports, but the country has advertised a small handful of similar events that have been canceled at the last minute this year.
An all-star game featuring star footballers from Brazil, Italy and Korea was scheduled to take place in Goyang earlier in October, but local promoters announced that it would be canceled a week before it was set to begin.
And European football club Wolverhampton Wanderers, alongside Roma and Celtic, canceled a preseason “Korea Tour” after they said local organizers failed to meet their end of the contractual deal.

BY MARY YANG [mary.yang@joongang.co.kr]


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