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Ruud and Rublev impress on day one of UTS Oslo – with all to play for

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cdunn
Oslo 2024

A sensational win for Oslo’s very own Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud was the highlight of the opening day of 2024’s UTS action.

But Holger “The Viking” Rune still finishes the first day of action on top of the Group A table because he’s the only player who played two matches on Friday among the three who won one match (with Ruud and Bublik).

Ruud took on The Viking in Friday’s penultimate match – and came from a quarter down to win a hard-fought encounter, 6-21, 14-13, 17-12, 13-12.

The returning Dominic “Thieminho” Thiem took Rune to sudden death in his first UTS match for almost four years, but it was The Viking who took the win, 16-8, 11-14, 13-10, 11-13, 2-1.

Thiem was back on court later in the day for his second match in Group A, but was beaten by Bublik in another close match – 16-13, 17-14, 16-17, 13-12.

In Group B, Andrey “Rublo” Rublev, the champion in Frankfurt last year, continued his impressive UTS record against Benoit Paire, The Rebel. In three UTS matches, Rublo has now won all nine quarters against Paire – taking this match 20-12, 20-14, 22-16 to open the action in Oslo.

A former UTS champion, Alex “The Demon” de Minaur continued his perfect record in the format as he beat Gael Monfils 15-12, 17-8, 16-9. The Australian player has a great story with UTS. He won UTS 3 in 2020 without losing a single match.

La Monf was disqualified later for violating the code of conduct with his behaviour towards the tournament supervisor, and he was replaced in the day’s final match by Lucas Pouille, The French Flair, who took part in the inaugural UTS event in 2020 but withdrew after two matches due to injury.

But Paire upset him to get his first win of the day, taking it in sudden death 20-13, 15-18, 16-18, 23-15, 2-0.

It leaves Paire on top of the Group B table – but he has played two matches, while second-placed Rublev and third-placed de Minaur have only played one each.

Players in this article

The Demon

Alex de Minaur

The Bublik Enemy

Alexander Bublik

Rublo

Andrey Rublev

The Rebel

Benoit Paire

The Ice Man

Casper Ruud

Thieminho

Dominic Thiem

The Viking

Holger Rune

The French Flair

Lucas Pouille