Emil Ruusuvuori: A Rising Star on the ATP Circuit
Emil Ruusuvuori has recently been recognized as one of the most promising players on the ATP circuit. With his electric game, clean and aesthetic shots, and the ability to dominate any opponent, Ruusuvuori has made a name for himself. Just ask Carlos Alcaraz, who was left in awe after facing him in a memorable match in Madrid. Although he hasn’t achieved the desired results lately, Ruusuvuori has scored impressive victories against top players like Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner.
Challenges and Ambitions for Davis Cup 2023
Despite reaching a career-high ranking of #38 and making it to the quarterfinals of the Miami Open, injuries and inconsistency have hindered Ruusuvuori’s progress. However, he remains determined to shine in the Davis Cup Finals and make history for Finland. In an exclusive interview with breakpoint, Ruusuvuori opens up about his goals for the upcoming year, the significance of the competition, the difficulties of establishing himself among the elite, and the delicate balance between earning points and maintaining physical condition.
Interview with Emil Ruusuvuori
CN: Emil, thank you for speaking with Puntodebreak. Your captain, Jarkko Nieminen, has already talked about the historic significance of Finland’s presence in the Davis Cup Finals. How do you personally perceive this achievement?
ER: Personally, it’s one of the greatest successes I’ve had. It’s incredible to be able to share this experience with my teammates. I’ve noticed a significant increase in support for the national team back home. It feels like we’re finally receiving the attention we deserve.
CN: Is it true that 3,000 Finns will be traveling to support you?
ER: Yes, that’s correct.
CN: It’s remarkable for a country with a relatively young tennis tradition.
ER: Absolutely. As I mentioned earlier, the growing attention we’re receiving has made a big difference. Many Finns live nearby, but there are also those who make the effort to travel from Finland just to support us. It’s truly spectacular.
A Memorable Victory and the Challenges of Staying at the Top
CN: One of your most significant victories came in the Davis Cup in 2019 against Dominic Thiem. Can you share your thoughts on that match?
ER: That match holds a special place in my heart. It was my first major victory against a Grand Slam champion. I still remember the emotions and the sense of accomplishment. It marked the beginning of my journey.
CN: Speaking of your journey, you’ve been highly successful on the Challenger circuit. In your opinion, what is more challenging: reaching the top 100 or maintaining a position close to the best players?
ER: I believe staying at the top is the most difficult part. Initially, gaining momentum on the Challenger circuit can boost your confidence, but the transition to the ATP circuit is rapid. It’s a constant challenge to perform consistently week after week.
Injuries and the Need for Consistency
CN: You’ve faced several injuries recently, such as elbow and shoulder problems. Do you think the frequent change of balls in tournaments contributes to your discomfort?
ER: The shoulder injury is unlikely related to the change of balls. However, I’ve been dealing with elbow issues for over two years. It’s a constant pain that needs improvement. Changing conditions frequently doesn’t help either. I need to plan my schedule better to ensure I play with the same ball for consecutive weeks, reducing the risk of injury.
CN: It seems like an issue that the ATP should address.
ER: Indeed, it’s an important matter that requires attention. The amount of travel and playing time also adds to the challenge. However, with my current ranking, I have to play frequently to earn points. It’s not as simple as it may seem, except for players like Novak Djokovic. We end up playing almost every week due to the demands of the circuit.
Looking Ahead to 2024
CN: Finally, what is your best memory from 2023, and what are your goals and dreams for 2024?
ER: The Miami Open, where I reached the quarterfinals, stands out as the best tournament of the year. I also had significant wins against top-10 players like Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev. Unfortunately, health issues affected my performance afterward. My main focus for next year is to strengthen my body and make necessary changes to my schedule, ensuring better balance between work and rest. I aim to learn from my mistakes and continue improving as a player.