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By Adrianna Outlaw | Thursday, September 23, 2021

 
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Emil Ruusuvuori saved a set point toppling top-seeded Aslan Karatsev 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach his third quarterfinal of the season in Nur-Sultan.

Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation/Astana Open Facebook

On a day when seeds scattered, Emil Ruusuvuori made a strong statement to charge into the Astana Open quarterfinals.

The 84th-ranked Ruusuvuori saved a set point toppling top-seeded Aslan Karatsev 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach his third quarterfinal of the season in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

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Three of the top four seeds fell today.




Soonwoo Kwon was a 7-5, 6-4 victor over third-seeded Dusan Lajovic on the strength of three sevice breaks. Kwon will play seventh-seeded Laslo Djere for a semifinal spot in the first meeting between the pair.




Aussie James Duckworth won 27 of 31 first-serve points and did not face a break point surprising fourth-seeded Filip Krajinovic 7-6(2), 6-3. Duckworth set up an all-Aussie quarterfinal vs. defending champion John Millman.

Ruusuvuori repelled a set point at 5-6 in the tiebreaker winning three points in a row to snatch a one-set lead. In the second set, the pair traded breaks in the third and fourth games. Ruusuvuori broke again for a 5-4 lead then served out a two-hour victory.

The Helsinki, Finland-born baseliner saved five of eight break points and won 12 of the last 14 points played on his serve in a two-hour conquest.

The 22-year-old Ruusuvuori raised his 2021 record to 22-17 setting up a quarterfinal rematch with nemesis Ilya Ivashka, who has scored straight sets over Ruusuvuori in Munich and at least month's Winston-Salem where Ivashka went on to take the title.

“I like the conditions," Ruusuvuori said. "It is a little bit slower and heavier than last year, so it changes it a little bit, but I still like it.

“Everything is familiar and the people are so nice. It is nice to come back."

No. 2-seeded Alexander Bublik dodged the upset bug beating Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Bublik thrilled home fans blasting 18 aces and winning 42 of 47 first-serve points.

 

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