ATP Miami: Alexander Zverev suffers early loss to Emil Ruusuvuori

The 2018 Miami Open champion Alexander Zverev is yet to win a Florida match after that deep run. In 2019, the German lost to the veteran David Ferrer in the second round, hoping for a more vital campaign this week after winning the ATP 500 crown in Acapulco last weekend. Instead of that, world no. 7 suffered a heavy 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss to the young Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in two hours and four minutes for another Miami setback. The 21-year-old came to Florida with one Masters 1000 victory, improving his tally with two triumphs in the last couple of days and delivering his second top-10 victory following that 2019 triumph over Dominic Thiem in the Davis Cup. Emil fired zero aces and five double faults, struggling on the second serve but still dominating sets two and three despite five breaks he suffered, three of those in the opener.

Zverev had 11 aces and seven double faults, making a strong start before falling apart from set number two, offering his rival no less than 18 break opportunities after the opener and giving serve away six times to hit the exit door much earlier than he expected. The German hit 20 winners and 40 unforced errors, struggling from both wings and losing pace in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight strokes to push Ruusuvuori through. Zverev had the upper hand in the opener, serving well and producing three breaks for 6-1.  Emil hit a double fault in the first game to fall behind and found himself 3-0 down following Zverev’s deep return.

Emil Ruusuvuori dominated over Alexander Zverev in sets two and three.

The German completed a perfect set with the third break thanks to a backhand down the line winner in game seven, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. After cruising through his service games in the opener, Alexander started to struggle in set number two, with 15 break chances offered to Emil in five service games!

The Finn lost serve twice but that couldn’t put him in danger after four consecutive return games on his tally, reading the rival’s serve nicely and gaining momentum ahead of the decider. Ruusuvuori saved a break point in game six to open a 4-2 gap and grabbed the set following the fourth breaks in a row at 5-3. Carried by this boost, Emil lost only a couple of points behind the initial shot in the decider, keeping the pressure on the other side of the net and waiting for his return chances patiently. He broke Zverev with a forehand crosscourt winner in game four and delivered another return game at 4-1 thanks to Zverev’s double fault. Serving for the triumph in game seven, Emil sealed the deal with a forehand down the line winner, celebrating his third Masters 1000 win and the second against the top-10 rivals.

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