Norway’s Casper Ruud joins the line-up for UTS Frankfurt later this month – replacing American Reilly ‘The Bot’ Opelka who continues his recovery from a wrist surgery which has kept him off the tour for over a year now.
Ruud – who will take on the nickname ‘The Iceman’ – will join Gael “La Monf” Monfils, Andrey “Rublo” Rublev, Diego “El Peque” Schwartzman, Daniil “The Chessmaster” Medvedev, Benoit “The Rebel” Paire, “The Thunder” Jan-Lennard Struff, and Christopher “The Rocket” Eubanks in the field.
‘The Iceman’ replace Reilly Opelka in the Group A and will play against Medvedev, Struff and Paire in Frankfurt. The order of play will be revealed next week.
It will be his debut in the competition.
For Opelka, it is the latest setback in a road to recovery that has stopped him from playing since August 2022.
“I had a few setbacks along the way with this wrist surgery. It’s just been up and down for a while, and I’m finally on the right path. I was telling Jeremy Chardy if UTS was one week later, I would be able to play – or maybe two weeks later – I’m pretty confident I could play but I’m just not quite there yet,” the 26-year-old said in an interview with our editorial team.
“I still haven’t fully started serving yet. I think that’s the biggest thing right now, just having the confidence in my wrist to really swing hard at the serve. That’s the only thing that’s delaying me further. I can do it, which is great, but the problem is after one or two days of intense serving, my wrist still gets a little irritated. So I’ve got to be a little careful.”
The American, who was scheduled to make his first appearance in the UTS league, added that he was a big supporter of changes in the sport and was very much looking forward to playing in UTS due to its innovative format. Opelka’s replacement, Casper “The Iceman” Ruud will also be making his debut in the UTS league.