Monday, June 17, 2024

Libema Open: Ruusuvuori sinks Sinner to reach maiden grass-court semis

‘ Emil Ruusuvuori earned his first ATP Head to Head win in six tries against Jannik Sinner on Friday at the Libema Open to advance to his maiden grass-court semi-final, here.

The 24-year-old Finn did not lose a first-serve point (29/29) or face a breakpoint in a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

The victory improved Ruusuvuori to 8-6 on grass in his career, with his previous best result on the surface a quarter-final run last year as a qualifier at The Queen’s Club. Prior to this week in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, he had reached the quarter-finals at just one event this season across all surfaces: the Miami ATP Masters 1000 (l. to Sinner).

“It was a great performance overall. He’s a hell of a player,” Ruusuvuori said of his quarter-final win.

“Before this I’m 0-5 against him head-to-head. It’s always a difficult match to go after him, but I just gave my everything and today I was playing very well and able to get the win, so I’m very happy,” he added.

Ruusuvuori’s third Top 10 win saw him advance to his first ATP Tour semi-final since last October in Stockholm.

With the defeat, Sinner fell to 5-3 in quarter-finals this season and 5-6 overall on grass. Still seeking his first semi-final on the surface, his best grass-court result is his Wimbledon quarter-final run from last season. The Italian took a two-sets-to-love lead against eventual champion Novak Djokovic at the major but ultimately lost in five sets.

Saturday’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch semi-finals will see Ruusuvuori take on sixth seed and home favourite Tallon Griekspoor, after the Dutchman’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against fourth seed Alex de Minaur.

The opposite semi-final will be an all-Aussie affair, with Jordan Thompson taking on Rinky Hijikata. Both unseeded players earned comeback victories on Friday: Thompson was a 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2 winner against Adrian Mannarino, while Hijikata defeated Mackenzie McDonald 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

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