Ruusuvuori Reaches First ATP Final In Pune

Emil Ruusuvuori (photo: Tata Open Maharashtra)

PUNE/STARNBERG, February 5, 2022

Finnish youngster Emil Ruusuvuori has reached his maiden singles final on the ATP Tour at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra. The No. 6 seed of the ATP 250 hard-court tournament held his nerve during a crucial second set tie-breaker to secure a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6(0) victory against Kamil Majchrzak from Poland on Saturday.

Ruusuvuori struck 10 aces and won 76 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 46 minutes.

“I really like this place,” said the 22-year-old Helsinki native, who is making his debut in Pune this week. “I still haven’t lost a set. The whole match was very good today and I am very happy to be in the final. Every point in the tie-break is very important. I started well and 7-0 is good.”

Sousa outlasts Ymer

Ruusuvuori will next take on Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who drew on his experience to end the sensational run of Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer with a remarkable three-set win. Sousa fought back from a set down to prevail in a nail-biting semi-final 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5 later in the afternoon.

Ymer, who stunned top seed and the World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev in the earlier round to earn the biggest win of his career, made a confident start to race to a 4-1 lead but Sousa recovered well in time to draw level at 5-5. However, Ymer regrouped and pocketed the set to take 1-0 lead in the match.

Former World No. 28 Sousa capitalized on the momentum, gained towards the end of the opening set and led 4-1 in the second set. Sousa took away the set 7-4 in the tie-breaker.

The 32-year-old from Guimaraes put pressure on Ymer, who was in search for his first ATP title, giving him a neck-and-neck fight in the decider and successfully titled the momentum in his favour in a grueling contest that lasted for more than three hours.

“It means a lot,” Sousa said in his on-court interview.

“The past two years were very tough for me, [with] a lot of things going through my mind. It means a lot to me to be in the final again. Thank you so much guys. The atmosphere was unbelievable tonight. This is why you want to play tennis. On the three match points, I just kept believing and somehow I found a way to turn it around.”