Ruusuvuori Upsets Karatsev In Nur-Sultan
Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori sprung a surprise Thursday at the Astana Open as he downed top seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals and continue his strong record at the ATP 250 event.
The 22-year-old, who enjoyed a run to the semi-finals in Nur-Sultan last year, won 74 per cent (14/19) of his first-serve points and saved one set point at 5/6 in the first-set tie-break, before advancing after two hours and one minute.
“He is a great player,” Ruusuvuori said. “He has shown the whole world this year how he can play. He didn’t start the best today and I was able to get a little bit better start, but maybe I didn’t use my chances as well as I could. But to close it in two sets is the main thing.”
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The World No. 84 has advanced to semi-finals in Atlanta and Winston-Salem this season and also defeated then World No. 7 Alexander Zverev en route to the fourth round at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
Ruusuvori will next face eighth seed Ilya Ivashka in the quarter-finals and will try to gain revenge against the Belarusian, after falling to the World No. 52 in Winston-Salem last month.
“I like the conditions. It is a little bit slower and heavier than last year, so it changes it a little bit, but I still like it,” Ruusuvuori said. “Everything is familiar and the people are so nice. It is nice to come back."
The home favourite fired 18 aces to record victory after two hours and two minutes. Bublik will play Carlos Taberner in the last eight after the World No. 117 moved past Egor Gerasimov 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-5.
Soonwoo Kwon also advanced, upsetting third seed Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-4 after one hour and 38 minutes to improve to 2-0 in their ATPHead2Head Series. The World No. 82 will face seventh seed Laslo Djere in the last eight.Australian James Duckworth overcame fourth seed Filip Krajinovic 7-6(2), 6-3 to reach his first tour-level quarter-final of the season. The 29-year-old will next play reigning champion John Millman.