11 Oct 2017

2017 ITF Junior Masters: Who's who

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneEmil Ruusuvuori (FIN)

Each day in the build up to this year’s ITF Junior Masters, we will be introducing one of the players competing. In today's article, we take a closer look at Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland.

Ruusuvuori may be the lowest-ranked of the boys’ competitors, but he currently sits on a career-high ranking of world No. 14.

The Finn made his debut at the age of just 14, at the Nokia Junior Cup in Finland, in October 2013, but struggled to earn victories early on. His first taste of success came in August of 2014, when Ruusuvuori reached the singles final of a Grade 5 tournament in Sweden, and won the doubles title at the same event, alongside Patrick Kaukovalta.

A few more finals followed but a singles title remained elusive for the Finn, until he entered the DISPUK Copenhagen Winter Cup in February 2016. Ruusuvuori dominated the field, never losing more than three games in a set as he was crowned champion.

Ruusuvuori struggled to break through, with his success mainly coming in doubles, but in the final week of October 2016, the tide appeared to turn. He won the singles and doubles titles at the Vierumaki Junior Cup in Finland, the first time he had achieved such a feat, and then repeated the triumph in his very next tournament, a Grade 2 in Israel.

In October and November of 2016, Ruusuvuori only lost two matches in singles or doubles, lifting three titles to close out his season.

His 2017 started with a strong showing in Australia, reaching the semifinalsEmil Ruusuvuori (FIN) in singles and doubles at the Grade 1 AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International, before reaching the quarterfinals at the Junior Australian Open, losing to Corentin Moutet.

His strong performances in Australia earned him a first call-up to the Finnish Davis Cup team, but he could not help Finland past a strong Georgian side.

He lost to Moutet again in the first round at Roland Garros, and was forced to retire in the opening round at Wimbledon, but the highlight of his season so far came at the final Grand Slam of the year. Despite being unseeded, Ruusuvuori forced his way to the semifinals, losing to eventual champion, and current world No. 1, Yibing Wu in a third set tiebreak.

Ruusuvuori is starting to find some success on the ITF Pro Circuit. In his last two tournaments, Futures events in Portugal and Sweden, he has come through qualifying to reach the quarterfinals.

The 2017 ITF Junior Masters will take place at the Sichuan International Tennis Center in Chengdu, China on 25-29 October.