4 min read
The UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) attracts players in all stages of their careers, and, at 32, Zuzana Zlochova has more accomplishments left in her. The Slovakian began playing PTT events last summer and has played all over the world, picking up six titles and compiling over 30 wins this season.
Pursuing Matchplay Worldwide
Zlochova (UTR Rating 10.64) has been a pro tennis player since she was 18 years old, reaching a career-high WTA ranking of No. 263 in 2013 and winning 14 ITF Tour titles from 2009-16. Her passion for tennis is one rooted in enjoying the competition, and while college tennis was on the table when she was a teenager, she chose to keep her playing schedule hers alone.
“I was just enjoying the game, I was not thinking about going professional,” she told Universal Tennis. “I never had like a dream to be world No. 1, I just loved the game so much. I just wanted to play matches.”
Initially, she funded her career by playing in prize money tournaments in Australia, a country that has been like a second home for her. For years, Zlochova spent parts of each season in Australia, making money and playing ITFs. Since the pandemic, those opportunities have been replaced by PTTs, which offer a check of up to $3,600 for winners.
“After 14 years, this is the first time that I’ve not been losing money. Finally, I’m in the plus section in my bank account…” Zlochova said. “I was in Zagreb at an ITF W60 and lost in qualifying, and I earned 50 Euros — that’s a nice lunch and dinner. I’m so glad that I really stuck it out and that I got to this point where I can play PTTs. “
As she maneuvers the later stages of her career, Zlochova praises the value of the PTT with its round-robin format, global accessibility, and guaranteed prize money.
“I really enjoy that it’s physically demanding, but if you can really stay healthy, I think it’s the best and especially for young girls. It’s the best preparation for [the next level],” Zlochova said. “I feel like a veteran now that I’m always playing against younger girls.”
Returning Down Under
But before she turns her sights on mentoring the next generation, Zlochova has more playing to do. After three years of being locked out, Zlochova is returning to Australia in September to compete in tournaments.
“I have all my stuff still there, and I really want to go back,” she said. “There will be some ITFs and PTTs in Darwin, so I can’t wait to go and play. I will lose all my ITF points in September, October, and November, so this is my last chance.”
The Slovakian isn’t calling this trip her last chance with any hint of sadness, instead she’s filled with excitement because she’s so eager to leave it all on the court.
The PTT event in Darwin is a joint men’s and women’s $25K held from September 4-10. Watch Zlochova in action thanks to live streaming on YouTube. Darwin is one of many PTT stops this year in Australia, with events also taking place in Sydney, Adelaide, and Caloundra.
For more information about the PTT and to see the schedule and results, click here.
About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour
The PTT is open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2000, and wild cards can be awarded to those players with a UTR Ranking of 1-199 or above 2000. Every PTT event creates matchplay opportunities for up-and-coming, collegiate, and pro players thanks to a unique round-robin format. At every event, a group round-robin stage is followed by a World Cup-style playoff, guaranteeing multiple matches and counting all results towards the UTR Rating, the most accurate rating system in tennis. Every PTT event offers 4-5 matches and a minimum of $20,000 in prize money with an earnings guarantee for every participant.