Fireworks are guaranteed at the season-ending UTS Grand Final in London next month after Danish star Holger Rune and rising Briton Jack Draper – two of the biggest hitters on the men’s tennis Tour – were both awarded wildcards into the eight-man field.
The pair will join Andrey “Rublo” Rublev, Casper “The Iceman” Ruud and Gael “La Monf” Monfils at the Grand Final, which takes place from December 15-17 at London’s ExCel, one of the UK’s leading international exhibition and conference centres.
China’s Wu Yibing, who won the UTS Los Angeles event earlier this summer, is out of the field due to a foot injury.
UTS is the world’s newest, most exciting, innovative tennis league, playing an entirely reinvented game format, which features four eight-minute quarters, one serve, bonus cards and just 15 seconds between points, not to mention live music.
World No 10 Rune – “The Viking” – reached the quarter-finals at both Roland-Garros and Wimbledon this year. The 20-year old, who hit a new career-high ranking of No 4 in August, won his fourth ATP Tour title in Munich this year, and also reached Masters 1000 finals in Monte-Carlo and Rome, defeating Novak Djokovic on his path.
The Viking will be returning to the UTS for a second time, having effectively started his pro career at UTS, when he played one match – against Frenchman Corentin Moutet – in 2020, when nobody knew the baby face of the No 827 on the ATP Tour, who was aged 17 at the time.
“My nickname is how I’m built, how I’m born, how my parents raised me,” Rune said. “I
can promise fans I will fight until the end, like I always do, with lots of passion on the court.”
The 21-year-old Draper, who reached the fourth round of the US Open in September, will be making his UTS debut. Draper has asked his fans to help him choose a nickname and make sure the British crowd can connect with him in this ultimate battle.
Three more places in London are still up for grabs, with one more event to be played
before London – UTS Seoul – which takes place from Nov 30-Dec 3.
The winner in Seoul will automatically qualify for London, while the top three players
in the race ranking, excluding the winners of the three UTS events (Los Angeles,
Frankfurt and Korea), will also be assured of a spot in the Grand Final. Monfils has already enough points and appearances to have already qualified.
The winner of the Grand Final will decide the 2023 UTS World Champion. Tickets for UTS London are available. Connect to uts.live website for more information.