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Champion Rublo makes history at UTS Oslo

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cdunn
Oslo 2024

Andrey Rublev has become the first two-time champion in UTS history as he lifted the lightning-bolt trophy in Oslo.

Rublo defeated Alex “The Demon” de Minaur 14-16, 17-10, 16-13, 20-12 to add the UTS Oslo title to the one he won in Frankfurt last year.

It also means he punches his ticket to the 2024 UTS Grand Final later this year – with de Minaur currently in second place in the Race Ranking on 15 points. The UTS Grand Final will be the fourth event this year, two other ones being due to happen in the USA in August and in Europe in October.

Rublev – De Minaur, first final ever with two former winners

It was the first time that two former UTS champions had met beyond the Final Four. However, The Demon and Rublo had already played each other in Oslo during the round-robin stage, another match in which Rublev had to come back from a quarter down, winning on that occasion 13-15, 18-10, 17-14, 17-12.

This time round, Rublo won 67 points against The Demon’s 51 – despite de Minaur taking full advantage of all three bonus cards he played compared to Rublev’s two out of three.

The first quarter was very close, with both players recording exactly the same percentages on serve and return points won – 57 and 43 respectively. While de Minaur’s serve was marginally the faster, 155kph compared to Rublev’s 140 kph, he was also slightly less accurate, with 93 per cent of serves in – Rublo got all of his in.

Rublev knew he needed to step it up, and he did, dominating the percentages on serve and return from then on; an overall 60 per cent of points won on serve is an impressive statistic to take away. The rallies were long and the points were quick – Rublo averaging just five seconds to win a point.

And despite de Minaur’s brilliant use of the crosscourt forehand, catching Rublo unawares on multiple occasions, it was the Frankfurt champion who came up with the goods and got over the finish line.

Oslo’s hopes for Ruud smashed in semi-finals

Earlier in the day, de Minaur had got the first win of the day as he crushed home hopes by defeating Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud 15-9, 17-9, 14-10 in the Final Four.

And Rublo followed that up to secure his own place in the title match with a stunning win over Alexander Bublik, The Bublik Enemy – racking up a huge 76 points across three quarters to win 25-11, 25-12, 26-11.

It was a spectacular end to a sensational opening event of the year, filled with drama – from the disqualification of Gael Monfils after an injury to the tournament supervisor, to the withdrawals of Dominic “Thieminho” Thiem and Holger “The Viking” Rune, to the impressive debut of 17-year-old top-ranked Norwegian junior Nicolai Budkov Kjaer.

Almost 12.000 fans attended the show, with 3800 tickets sold on Friday and 4000 per day on Saturday and Sunday (full stadium).

Players in this article

The Demon

Alex de Minaur

The Bublik Enemy

Alexander Bublik

Rublo

Andrey Rublev

The Ice Man

Casper Ruud