World numbers 91 and 98 respectively, Mikhail Kukushkin and Emil Ruusuvuori will face off in their quarterfinal at the 2020 Astana Open with the encounter scheduled for Friday, October 30. The exact time will be announced soon. Get the live streaming options of this Mikhail Kukushkin v Emil Ruusuvuori match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Mikhail Kukushkin v Emil Ruusuvuori Head to Head
This will be the first match between Kukushkin and Ruusuvuori at the highest level.
Kukushkin Comes Back from Near-Dead
Down a set and 1-4 in the second in his second round match against the top seeded Benoit Paire, it looked all but over for Kukushkin. Paire hadn’t been in the best of form in recent times but there was that spark about him over the first set and a half which indicated things were falling back into place for him.
Kukushkin got himself back into the encounter in the seventh game of the second set when he got triple break-points and converted on the second one before levelling it out in the next game. The set headed into a tie-breaker and a more confident Kukushkin now got himself four mini-breaks to rout Paire 7-2.
With the Frenchman’s hold on the encounter lost, Kukushkin seized the opportunity by breaking him in the second game of the third set, and then again in the sixth before serving it out in the next.
And while Kukushkin will be chuffed with this win, it also means he enters the quarterfinal on the back of successive, comeback from behind three-set victories, and a bit of exhaustion could be a factor.
Ruusuvuori Thwarts Thompson in Three
Having qualified for this event with a couple of victories in the qualifiers, Ruusuvuori didn’t have too many issues getting the better of the 438th-ranked Timofey Skatov in the first round. It was in the second round that Ruusuvuori was expected to face some resistance despite going into the encounter as a favourite.
Jordan Thompson’s recent form meant he started off 9/5 in that match against Ruusuvuori, and when he levelled things off at a set apiece, it looked like the bookmmakers’ odds had been torn away.
Ruusuvuori was in early trouble in the third set as well, going a break down in the third game, but he came back soon after to make it 3-3. At 4-4, Ruusuvuori faced a break-point only to hold serve before finally breaking his opponent to win the match in three.
These two wins follow a string of four successive defeats in opening rounds of competitions, and the first tournament since the Canberra Challenger in the first two weeks of the year where he has won two in a row. Can he push on for his third?
Kukushkin v Ruusuvuori Prediction and Tip
Interestiingly, Kukushkin is 7/4 to win this despite neither player having shown any sort of form in recent times. A games handicap in favour of Kukushkin looks a good bet.
Tip: Games Handicap Kukushkin +3.5: 4/5 (bet365)