Rune Prepares For 'Very Challenging' And 'Super Intense' First Leg Of 2024 UTS Tour

Rune Prepares For 'Very Challenging' And 'Super Intense' First Leg Of 2024 UTS Tour

by Nurein Ahmed

Holger Rune is readying himself for a "super intense" weekend in Oslo, where the first leg of the 2024 Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) will take place.

The event will be held at the Telenor Arena from February 9th to 11th. Despite an injury scare that forced him to retire in his most recent tournament in Montpellier, Rune has declared himself fit to play the UTS Tour of Oslo.

The Danish star has been in the headlines this week after making a series of changes in his coaching and business team. The decisions have certainly caused a shock within the tennis world.

Rune ended coaching partnerships with both Severin Luthi and Boris Becker less than two months after hiring them. He also signed a deal with IMG, who will take charge of his off-court brand, with mother Aneke stepping down from her role as press manager.

However, the 20-year-old is not indulging himself in the outside noise and is currently preparing to play the UTS Tour this weekend. Rune got his first taste of the event at last year's Grand Final in London, where he received a wild card.

Rune scored a pair of wins in the group stage and defeated Andrey Rublev in the semifinal. He met British lefty Jack Draper, who was also a debutant, in the final and lost in four quarters.

Because of its unique scoring format, which has been carefully designed to cut down on stoppages, Rune told Tennis Majors that the UTS Tour is "very challenging" but at the same time "entertaining" for the fans.

"It’s very challenging. It’s super intense. But I think it’s great because it’s always mostly long rallies, and I think it’s very entertaining for the crowd. There’s not so much waiting."

The first batch of matches will take place on Friday. There will be two groups, each containing four ATP players. Rune, dubbed as "The Viking", is in Group A, along with home crowd favorite Casper Ruud, Alexander Bublik and Dominic Thiem.

He opens up against former US Open champion Thiem on Friday, but the most-talked-about match is his duel against Ruud, which is scheduled on the same day. Rune is unlikely to get much crowd support, but he hopes to quieten the crowd with his performance.

"I hope they’re going to be loud. I’m expecting them not to be as loud, but let’s see. You know, we both you know, almost in the top 10, and you know, it’s probably going to be a very exciting match for the public also to watch. So just looking forward for it has to see where my level is at."


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