Rising Finnish star Emil Ruusuvuori said playing Rafael Nadal "was one of the best experiences on court" for him. Ruusuvuori, ranked at No. 90 in the world, clashed 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal for the first time in his career last week.
Nadal, a former world No. 1, handed a 6-4 7-5 loss to Ruusuvuori in the Melbourne Summer Set semifinal. "Well, it was, first of all, one of the best experiences on court for me. I mean, on one of the biggest courts against one of the best players ever.
For sure there were some nerves before the match, and it looked like he had some, too. The first few games weren't the best. But it was a good match overall. I thought for a while I did good things, some things for sure. It's improving; that's also a good thing.
But the main thing is it was a very, very cool experience," Ruusuvuori said, per Sportskeeda.
Ruusuvuori competed well, but Nadal won
“It’s an important comeback after five months outside of competition and it means a lot to me to be back in Australia,” Nadal said after beating Ruusuvuori.
“I need to do some things better on court, but it’s step by step. My body is holding up, and that’s the main thing, and I need matches to get back to 100 per cent. I know my tennis isn’t perfect, but it’s about being patient and doing my best”.
After beating Ruusuvuori, Nadal beat Maxime Cressy in the final to lift his first tirle of the season. “I want to thank all the organisation here,” Nadal said during the trophy ceremony. “I feel privileged and a very lucky guy to be here again.
I am coming back from some challenging moments in terms of injuries, so I can’t be happier. It means a lot to be back and with a trophy in my hands”.