Number one seed Russian Aslan Karatsev plays young Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round of the 2021 Astana Open on Wednesday, September 22. Get the live streaming options of this Aslan Karatsev v Emil Ruusuvuori match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aslan Karatsev v Emil Ruusuvuori Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between both players on the tour.
Top Seed Karatsev Waning As Season Progresses
Russian surprise package at the Olympics Aslan Karatsev had a great first half of the season but then went off track heading into the US Open series. His form was concerning heading into the US Open as he had won just one match in four tournaments, which included the Olympics.
Since his first round defeat to Jeremy Chardy at Wimbledon, the World No. 25 won the first round at the Olympics but fell in the next to Chardy again. He had a first-round bye at the Canadian Open, but could not win his opener against Karen Khachanov. Marin Cilic added more misery on the Russian with a straight sets defeat in Cincinnati.
In February, Karatsev was an unexpected semifinalist at the Australian Open and then went on to capture the crown in Dubai to prove that his Melbourne run was no flash in the pan. He reached another final this year, in Belgrade, this time by defeating Novak Djokovic in the semifinal, but missed out on the title after a tough loss to Matteo Berrettini.
It was some solace at the US Open as he made the round of 32 before losing out to in-form rookie from the US Jenson Brooksby in a five-setter in an atmosphere reminiscent of a Davis Cup contest. He will hope to have a good run here on to end the season on a high just like it began.
Ruusuvuori Hoping To End Season On A High
2020 semifinalist Emil Ruusuvuori headed to his second Astana Open with hopes of going one better this year. In 2020, the unseeded Finn had entered the main draw through the qualifiers and then defeated higher-ranked players in Jordan Thompson and Mikhail Kukushkin en route to the semifinals before bowing out with a straight sets defeat to Adrian Mannarino.
Hard courts have always brought the best out of the 22-year-old, who came to Astana with a 19-17 overall record in 2021, which includes a 17-11 record on hard surfaces. It has been a good run on the surface for him with a round of 16 at the Miami Open this Spring and then the final four last month in Atlanta and at Winston-Salem.
More recently, he did well against India at the Davis Cup last week and won a tough opener here against Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi this week.
Karatsev v Ruusuvuori Prediction and Tip
This is a very evenly matched contest and a difficult opener for top-seed Karatsev. While the Russian had a great beginning of the season, he has lost some of the spark in recent weeks. On the other hand, young Ruusuvuori has been going from strength to strength of late.
It will be down to who plays the big points better and Ruusuvuori may just pull it off in a decider.