Finland youngster Emil Ruusuvuori earned a shot at his maiden ATP World Tour title with a hard-fought victory over a fighting Kamil Majchrzak in a high-quality semifinal of the Tata Open Maharashtra on Saturday.
Kamil got himself to a position where he was serving for the second to force a decider but 22-year-old Emil walked out a with a 6-3 7-6 (0) win after one hour and 46 minutes of engrossing tennis at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
Intense rallies featured from the beginning with both Emil and Kamil displaying their range of shots. It was not before the eighth game that a break opportunity opened up for the Finnish player in the opening set.
Kamil’s backhand landed just outside the lines and Emil found a passing winner to convert the chance as the Polish player was not in a position to counter while approaching the net.
Emil’s ability to find angled shots, that made Kamil work harder to reach out balls, made a huge difference in the opening set.
In the second set, it was Kamil who drew the first blood in the eighth game. Kamil’s trademark drop shot, which he found with an awkward jump but perfect hand-eye co-ordination, got him his break chance which he converted on the next point.
However, Kamil dropped his serve while serving for the set and ironically it was a go-to drop shot that set up an easy winner for Emil, who dispatched the ball in the open court to deny his rival.
Kamil was down a breakpoint again in the 11th game when he netted a forehand at deuce but saved that with an ace. A battle ensued with a number of deuce points in that game, which the Polish player eventually held and now Emil was serving to stay in the set.
Emil was put under pressure by an aggressive Kamil but the Finn held to stretch it to a tie-breaker, in which he raced to a 5-0 lead and finished the match with consecutive aces.