Fixture: (3) Adrian Mannarino vs (Q) Emil Ruusuvuori
Date: 31 October 2020
Tournament: Astana Open 2020
Venue: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $273,345
Match timing: Around 6 pm ALMT, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Adrian Mannarino vs Emil Ruusuvuori preview
Third seed Adrian Mannarino will look to advance to the final of the Astana Open when he takes on rising star Emil Ruusuvuori on Saturday.
World No. 39 Mannarino has reached an ATP semifinal for the first time in 2020, riding on a couple of strong performances at Nur-Sultan this week. In a rather up-and-down season, the left-handed Frenchman won the ATP Challenger in Monterrey but exited in the opening round at five of the subsequent seven tournaments.
It was only at the US Open and at Cologne 2 last week that Mannarino displayed some of his usual rhythm and range, winning a couple of matches in each tournament.
The 32-year-old has been able to carry the momentum from the German city to Astana this week, as shown by his breezy wins in each round. The third seed brushed off Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-1 before dispatching Mackenzie Mcdonald 6-1, 6-4 on his way to the semis.
21-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori broke new ground this week by reaching his first semifinal on the ATP tour. The World No. 98 had been steadily rising up the ranks for the past few months, but an ATP semifinal remained elusive.
Born in Helsinki, Ruusuvuori won three matches at the Cincinnati Masters from qualifying, before finally making real headway in Nur-Sultan. After notching up wins over Max Purcell and Viktor Troicki in qualifying, the Finn put up a determined effort to win three more matches en route to the final four.
Edging the eighth seed Jordan Thompson 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in a tight three-setter greatly boosted Ruusuvuori's confidence levels. He built on that result to brush away the experienced Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-1 in the quarters on Friday.
Adrian Mannarino vs Emil Ruusuvuori head-to-head
Adrian Mannarino and Emil Ruusuvuori have never met each other on the ATP Tour, so their head-to-head record stands at 0-0.
Adrian Mannarino vs Emil Ruusuvuori prediction
Emil Ruusuvuori's serve has been a key factor in his success this week. The 21-year-old won 78% of his first serve points against Jordan Thompson in the second round, and against the veteran campaigner Mikhail Kuskushkin, the Finn pocketed 87% of his first serve points.
If he continues to serve this brilliantly, Ruusuvuori can definitely make life very difficult for Adrian Mannarino.
That said, the Frenchman's tricky game is likely to have the final word. Not only does he have a uniquely flat forehand that will be effective in changing the pace of the rallies, but he is also endowed with soft hands at the net.
With his delicate drop shots, the southpaw would surely look to test the movement of Ruusuvuori, who likes to stick to the baseline.
Prediction: Adrian Mannarino to win in straight sets.Published 31 Oct 2020, 00:30 IST