Match Report

Ruusuvuori Stops Sinner To Reach 1st Grass SF In 's-Hertogenbosch

Sixth seed Griekspoor downs de Minaur
June 16, 2023
Libema Open
Emil Ruusuvuori seeks his first ATP Tour title. By ATP Staff

Emil Ruusuvuori earned his first ATP Head2Head win in six tries against Jannik Sinner on Friday at the Libema Open to advance to his maiden grass-court semi-final. The 24-year-old Finn did not lose a first-serve point (29/29) or face a break point 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 a difficult match always 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."

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

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Behind his dominant display on serve, Ruusuvori swung freely in the rallies and constantly kept his second-seeded opponent under pressure from the baseline. A mid-set break was enough to win both sets.

From 40/0 in his final service game, Ruusuvuori needed three match points to close out the win, with a Sinner challenge erasing a would-be second-serve ace at 40/15. Undeterred, the Finn fired a big serve and forehand to seal the deal on the next point.

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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