If you are looking for a new favourite tennis player, Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori is definitely worth checking out. After qualifying for the main draw this week in Montpellier, Ruusuvuori has a chance to introduce himself to tennis fans who haven’t been tracking his steady rise up the rankings over the past 12 months. Following his first round victory over Dennis Novak, Ruusuvuori is continuing his 2019 form and consequently getting more recognition.
The 20 year old Finn was dominant on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019, winning four titles. The trajectory of his career suggests that he will likely not be playing Challenger events for much longer. At the beginning of 2019 his ranking was 402 in the world. Today it is just outside the top 100, a meteoric rise reflecting his recent success. In 2020 Ruusuvuori has a great chance of continuing this ascent and putting Finnish tennis back on the map.
Already Impressive Victories
The ATP’s Next-Gen is full of incredibly talented young players who want to reach the heights of the sport. When discussing this new generation of tennis talent, Emil Ruusuvuori is not yet a name mentioned consistently. This will not last for long, as it is only a matter of time before Ruusuvuori is a household name amongst tennis fans. In 2020 he already has an impressive victory under his belt, routinely beating Jannik Sinner in Canberra’s Challenger event. Defeating Sinner, the winner of 2019’s ATP Next-Gen Finals, is a good sign for what is to come this year for the Finn, who will be hoping to qualify for the event himself in 2020.
Ruusuvuori’s biggest victory in his young career came in the Davis Cup in September of last year, in which he convincingly defeated Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem, 6-3 6-2. Following the match the Austrian was full of praise, stating that “he has a great career ahead of him.” This victory confirms that he can compete and win against the world’s best players already. It also shows that he is not overawed playing in important events on big stages. To win against one of the greatest players in the world at such a young age is a significant milestone in the career of Ruusuvuori. This was likely a confidence boosting win that has led to the impressive results following the match.
Inspiring a nation
Ruusuvuori has big ambitions for the future despite being only 20. He is not only trying to continue his rise up the rankings, he also wants to inspire a generation. “Tennis is a really small sport in Finland,” Ruusuvuori said during Australian Open qualifying, “Jarkko Nieminen was the last top player we had, so I hope I can make some kind of impression on the kids back home and we get more into our sport.” Likely inspired by Nieminen as a child, the Finn has the potential to emulate his countryman’s success in the sport. Perhaps even to exceed it. Playing his first main draw ATP Tour event in Montpellier, he has the chance to begin attempting to do so.