Fin flying after national success

22.09.2021    Views: 280
Source: KTF press-service
A rare chance to excel in front of Finnish fans last weekend has refreshed Emil Ruusuvuori as he looks towards the remainder of what has been an encouraging ATP Tour season.

The 22-year-old progressed to the second round of the ATP 250 Astana Open on Wednesday when his opponent Benjamin Bonzi withdrew with illness while trailing 6-2 in Nur-Sultan.

Ruusuvuori, who reached semifinals in Atlanta and Winston-Salem during an encouraging North American hard court swing, will play top seed Aslan Karatsev on Thursday.
The Fin said he relished leading his nation to a 3-0 victory over India in a Davis Cup tie held in Espoo. He defeated Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4 7-5 in a singles rubber on Friday.

He has matured from an emerging talent to Finland’s leader since their last tie at home in 2019, with Ruusuvuori describing the overall experience as very rewarding.

«To get the home crowds behind you is something very special. It is the nicest place to play tennis when you have the home crowd supporting you,» he said. «But, also, two years ago was different. Now I am the highest ranked by far, so of course people expect me to get the win for the country, so it is a little different. There is a bit more pressure. But that goes with everything. «In the Davis Cup, everyone knows each other so well, so the group is very tight, not only in Davis Cup, but also outside. «Every week, I almost talk to everybody, so it is nice to get the team together and then play for the country.»

The maturity is also evident in the manner with which Ruusuvuori has played this season, particularly on the hard courts in the United States. He claimed a second win over a top ten player in the Miami Open when defeating Alexander Zverev on the way to the fourth round in April. After battling an injury through the clay season, the No. 84 on the FedEx ATP Rankings said he was pleased with his ability to regroup on returning to the United States.

«I learned a lot. That is the most important thing, and I improved a lot in many aspects, so I am happy with that,» he said. «Overall, the things that you have to do at this level, I have been playing these tournaments for a longer time, so the chance to be around these guys, you know more people, it is more familiar, nothing is that new anymore. It is a nice way to be. «With my game, especially mentally, more often … I can figure out the ways on the court. «You can have a plan when you go on court, but then you can make the changes and I think I have made the biggest step in the US tour.

«I was able to figure out things during matches and get the wins, somehow, and I think that is most important.»

Ruusuvuori, who improved his record to 21-17 in 2021 with his win over Bonzi, is looking forward to testing himself against Karatsev, who received an opening round bye in the tournament in Nur-Sultan.

Karatsev has enjoyed a breakout year on the ATP Tour. After reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, he won at ATP 500 in Dubai and sits at No.25 on the FedEx ATP Rankings.

«I think it is going to be a fun match,» Ruusuvuori said. «We know he is playing at a high level, so it will be a nice test to see how high a level I can bring on the court tomorrow.»

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