“Gael Monfils poisoned the catering as a playful friendly prank” – Fans react to Holger Rune and Dominic Thiem withdrawing from UTS due to illness

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Tennis fans have shared hilarious reactions to Holger Rune and Dominic Thiem’s withdrawals from the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) event in Oslo, Norway, due to illness.

Rune and Thiem were both drawn in Group A at the event, alongside Casper Ruud and Alexander Bublik. Rune won one of his two round-robin matches, while Thiem lost both of his before they were forced to pull out of the event ahead of their final group-stage matches due to illness.

Dominic Thiem disclosed that he was suffering from food poisoning, which had rendered him unable to take the court at the event.

“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,” he said (via UTS’s official website).

Similarly, Holger Rune shared that he hadn’t been feeling well for several days, which had negatively impacted his performance level.

“I am really sorry I cannot continue my matches in Oslo. 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,” Holger Rune said.

Despite Rune and Thiem’s illnesses, tennis fans managed to find humor in the situation. One fan poked fun at Gael Monfils’ disqualification from UTS due to a ‘playful exchange’ with the tournament supervisor, which resulted in an injury to the official. The fan hilariously suggested that the Frenchman may have similarly played a “playful prank” on the players by poisoning the catering.

“Monfils poisoned the catering as a playful friendly prank,” the fan posted.

Meanwhile, with Casper Ruud extending a dinner invitation to Holger Rune, Dominic Thiem, and the other participants on social media ahead of the event, one fan jokingly blamed the Norwegian for their sickness.

“That invitation Ruud sent out to all of them on Instagram was a f**king trojan horse they’re gonna be lucky to make it out of Norway alive 😭,” the fan commented.

Here are a few more reactions from fans:

Holger Rune and Gael Monfils to compete at Rotterdam Open next

Gael Monfils and Holger Rune
Gael Monfils and Holger Rune

Holger Rune and Gael Monfils will be in action at the ABN AMRO Open next, which commences on Monday, February 12. The duo will join a star-studded lineup featuring the likes of Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev, and Hubert Hurkacz.

Rune will be the third seed at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, taking on Roman Safiullin in his tournament opener. The Dane enjoys a 1-0 lead in his head-to-head against Safiullin, having claimed a 6-4, 7-6(0) win in their sole previous encounter in the 2024 Brisbane International semifinals.

Monfils, meanwhile, will be up against Denis Shapovalov in the first round. The duo stand even at 1-1 in their head-to-head record. However, it was Shapovalov who won their most recent clash, defeating the Frenchman 6-2, 6-2 at the 2019 Paris Masters.

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