Date: 24 March 2021
Tournament: Miami Open 2021
Round: First Round (Round of 128)
Venue: Miami, Florida
Category: ATP Masters 1000 Series
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,340,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Carlos Alcaraz vs Emil Ruusuvuori preview
Ranked No. 132 in the world, and aged a little over 17 years and 10 months, Carlos Alcaraz is presently the youngest player in the ATP top 600. To put this feat in perspective, only four other 17-year-olds feature in the ATP top 1000 - Holger Rune (ranked 317), Shintaro Mochizuki (ranked 654), Luca Nardi (ranked 721) and Martin Damm (ranked 820).
Alcaraz burst into the limelight a year ago, when he beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas at Rio de Janeiro to claim his first tour match win aged just 16. And he has continued to impress ever since.
After the resumption of the tour following the pandemic break, Alcaraz won Challenger titles in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante. And earlier this year he came through qualifying and also earned his maiden Slam main draw win, beating Botic Van de Zandschulp in the Australian Open first round.
Emil Ruusuvuori might appear a veteran when compared to Carlos Alcaraz, but he is himself only 21 years old. And while he didn't race out of the blocks as early as his Spanish opponent, 2020 was a special year for Ruusuvuori too as he broke into the ATP top 100 for the first time.
At Nur-Sultan, Ruusuvuori came through the qualifiers and went all the way up to the semifinals. The Finn also won his first ATP tour match (d. Dennis Novak, Montpellier), his first ATP Masters match (d. Sebastian Korda, Cincinnati) and his first Grand Slam match (d. Aljaz Bedene, US Open) in 2020.
Ruusuvuori currently sits at No. 83 in the ATP rankings, which is a career-high so far.
In 2021, both Alcaraz (3-3) and Ruusuvuori (5-5) boast of a 50% win record. And in their most recent tournament, they both lost in straight sets to two of the hottest players on the tour at the moment - Alcaraz lost to Alexander Zverev in Acapulco, while Ruusuvuori was beaten by Andrey Rublev in Dubai.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Emil Ruusuvuori head-to-head
Neither Carlos Alcaraz nor Emil Ruusuvuori has much experience on the main tour; Ruussuvuori has played 34 matches, while the Spaniard has played only 8. This will be their first meeting against each other, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Emil Ruusuvuori prediction
Let's look into the Elo ratings of both players.
- Carlos Alcaraz's present Elo rating, adjusted for hardcourts, stands at 1577.
- Emil Ruusuvuori's present Elo rating, adjusted for hardcourts, stands at 1710.
At their present rating, Emil Ruusuvuori is expected to have a 68.26% chance of winning the match.
Let's also take a look into the serve and return points won percentages of both players on hardcourts in 2021.
- Carlos Alcaraz has won 60% of his service points and 40% of his return points.
- Emil Ruusuvuori has won 63% of his service points and 37% of his return points.
Alcaraz is expected to win around 60% of his service points in the Miami first round, while Ruusuvuori is expected to win around 63% of his service points.
The numbers are in favor of the Finn, which is why we're giving him the edge.
Prediction: Emil Ruusuvuori to win 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.