Ivashka came up strong against Ruusuvuori

24.09.2021    Views: 108
Source: KTF press-service
Courtney Walsh

Ilya Ivashka had prepared himself for a difficult test against Emil Ruusuvuori but their Astana Open quarterfinal proved even tougher than he had anticipated. The Belarusian had dropped just three games per match to the Fin in wins  in Munich and Winston-Salem this year but was aware the slower conditions in Nur-Sultan would make the task against Ruusuvuori harder.

So it proved, with the Finnish right-hander overcoming a 2-4 deficit in the first set to move ahead, only for Ivashka to ultimately gain the upper-hand when successful 4-6 6-4 6-1 in 2hr 50min.
«This was a really, really hard match,» Ivashka said. «It was brutal. The whole match was a tremendous fight. I am really happy I went through. «Even in the third set, it was 6-1, but it was really hard. The beginning of the third set was super tough with many long games.»

The No. 52 on the FedEx ATP Rankings reached his third semi final for the year and will face Australian James Duckworth for a spot in his second final of the season on Friday.
The 27-year-old started this season outside the top 100 and was hindered by a foot injury which led to a first round exit at the Australian Open. But his form since returning to the main ATP Tour in the Miami Masters has been consistent. Ivashka defeated Alexander Zverev in Munich when reaching the semifinals, where he was beaten by Jan-Lennard Struff.

He reached the quarterfinals on grass at Eastbourne and made it to the last 16 at Wimbledon when beaten by subsequent finalist Matteo Berrettini. The Barcelona-based right-hander was rewarded for his consistency when he broke through for his maiden ATP Tour 250 title in Winston-Salem, with former US Open champion Marin Cilic among those he defeated. Ivashka, who will break into the top 50 next week, said there is no magical reason for his excellent form in 2021. But he is revelling from the workload that comes with playing plenty of matches.

He improved his record in 2021 to 28-13 when defeating Ruusuvuori, with Ivashka breaking his rival six times during the match. 

«It doesn’t matter if I win the tournament. The next one I am trying to start from zero because every week you have to work. I think this is what makes the difference,» he said.
«I started to play a little bit later (this year) because I had a big injury with a foot and in the first two months, I played Australia, but I got injured again. «I was playing good matches. Even when losing, I was feeling that the tennis was there and I just needed to keep playing. That is it.»

Ivashka and Duckworth played each other in successive weeks on grass earlier this year, splitting tight qualifying matches in Stuttgart and Halle.

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