The Ultimate Tennis Showdown is holding an event in Oslo, Norway, currently and a couple of players have already withdrawn. Holger Rune and Dominic Thiem withdrew on the second day of the exhibition series due to illness. But Gael Monfils had another issue going on at the event. Monfils was disqualified due to a locker room incident.
Event organizers released a statement this weekend saying Monfils was disqualified due to "a code of conduct violation stemming from his behavior towards the tournament supervisor." This might imply that Monfils was in some kind of physical altercation or argument with the supervisor. That, of course, would make Monfils look terribly bad and seem as if he could not control his temper.
That does not appear to be the case, though. Monfils issued a statement on social media clarifying the event that took place. The Frenchmen wrote in part, "I want to tell everyone what happened at UTS in Oslo. As per the release from UTS directly, there was no malice or negativity on my part. No abuse, no violence. However, whilst joking around in the locker room, Stephane was unfortunately hurt. It was never my intention to hurt or cause harm and thankfully Stephane knows that."
Gael Monfils clarifies and Elena Rybakina improves
Monfils has been one of the best showmen in the history of tennis. While he does not win at a high level anymore, fans go to tournaments he is involved in because he is a joy to watch on the court. There has been no history of Monfils having issues with a violent off-court temper before so this one-off would indeed indicate that an accident happened instead of something more grave.
Also over the weekend, Elena Rybakina won her second title of 2024 by winning the Abu Dhabi Open. She defeated Daria Kasatkina in the final 6-1 6-4. In doing so, Rybakina earned enough points to move her back to No. 4 on the WTA tour and move Jessica Pegula to No. 5.
Rybakina seems to clearly be one of the four best players in women's tennis. She won Wimbledon in 2022. Her falling to No. 5 was likely a short-lived aberration of how good of a player she truly is.
Andy Murray's decision is Andy Murray's decision
Andy Murray has also been a great player, but in the last several years he has not had the results he would like. He has hinted at retirement, especially after injuring his hip in 2018. Still, Murray soldiers on with increasingly worse performances.
But should he retire? Former top ten ATP player Tim Henman says that is not for us to debate and fully up to Murray to decide. Speaking with Metro UK, Henman said, "There has been some chat around his retirement but for me I don’t agree with that in any way, shape or form. As long as he wants to be out there, working hard and putting the hours in and making sacrifices, he should do it for as long as he wants." Well said and very true.