Corentin Moutet won the fourth edition of Ultimate Tennis Showdown after beating Taylor Fritz in the final.
The world No 72 won by three quarters to one against the American to clinch the title at the Mouratoglou Academy. Both will now head to Paris for the French Open, which starts live on Eurosport on May 30.
UTS featured eight players of the world’s best, including world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, and they were whittled down to four players for the semifinals.
Fritz defeated Diego Schwartzman in the opening semi-final. First, the Americans won 16-14, and then the second quarter on a buzzer-beating forehand. Fritz then came from behind in the third quarter to book his spot in the final.
Moutet also reached the final with an impressive performance against Cristian Garin.
After a tightly-contested first quarter, Fritz won, but Moutet fought back to tie the match.
At the start of UTS4, Moutet set the standard and showcased everything that makes the format great, shot-making, defiance, and some one-liners that didn’t seem out of place on a stand-up show.
Moutet trailed 8-6, so he was forced to win the next two points in three shots as Fritz used his first UTS card. On the first shot, The Tornado was certain he had scored, only to find out that he hadn’t.
“Can’t you count,” he asked the umpire. “One, two, three”.
Fritz led 12-7, but Moutet fought back to 12-12 after Fritz double-failed. The Hotshot, however, won an epic rally to take the lead 13-12 with five seconds remaining and completed the comeback when Moutet missed the next shot.
When Fritz won another long point to go up 10-8 in the second quarter, it looked like he might double his lead.
But Moutet – who beat Fritz in the group stages on Monday – pulled out his next point counts double and won the next point to level, before going up 12-10 and then, using his winner counts for three card to great effect to go up 15-10, enough to see him over the line and level the match.
At the start of the third quarter, Fritz threw everything at Moutet, but Moutet responded well with his drop shot and moved ahead 8-6.
Moutet led 12-11 before the American won the last point before the clock ran out. Moutet won a forehand winner to lead 10-9. The Frenchman, however, won the deciding point by two quarters to one to put himself in front.
Moutet’s brilliant drop shot and lob combo propelled him to a 6-4 victory over Fritz in the fourth quarter.
A 6-4 lead was transformed into a 12-4 advantage with more outstanding play, including an additional lob. Although Fritz missed what would have been a match point, he could not get back into it and won 16-18.
Moutet ended up winning the third quarter on a deciding point and finished strongly to secure the title.