Holger “The Viking” Rune and Dominic “Thieminho” Thiem have announced that they will withdraw from UTS Oslo with immediate effect due to illness.
Thiem said: “Unfortunately I am suffering from food poisoning today and despite all my efforts, I am just unable to step on court. I loved the atmosphere here in Oslo and the excitement of UTS. I am really sorry for the fans and look forward to seeing you soon on the UTS Tour.”
Norway’s top junior Nicolai Budkov Kjaer will replace Thiem for Saturday evening’s match against Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud.
Kjaer, nicknamed “The Junior”, will be coached by his father Alexander.
Rune’s final match, against Alexander Bublik, has been cancelled, meaning The Bublik Enemy progresses to the Final Four with a 3-0 walkover win.
“I am really sorry I cannot continue my matches in Oslo,” the Dane said in a statement.
“I have not been feeling well the last days and I will be unable to perform at a satisfying level tonight.
“I really enjoyed being here and I gave it my best yesterday. It’s something very special to play for the Nordic people. I love the energy you bring.”
The Viking won his opening match on Day One, 16-8, 11-14, 13-10, 11-13, 2-1 in sudden death against Thiem, but lost his second, against Ruud, 6-21, 14-13, 17-12, 13-12.
“Organising events is always challenging and we’ve had some bad luck today,” the UTS board said. “We loved seeing Holger and Dominic on court here in Oslo yesterday and wish them both a speedy recovery.
“We still have great players competing and we get to introduce an exciting young talent in Nicolai to the crowd in Oslo. We’re looking forward to some great matches today and tomorrow and know the Oslo crowd will have a fantastic time.”