Rafael Nadal trains with Emil Ruusuvuori at his Academy

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Rafael Nadal trains with Emil Ruusuvuori at his Academy

The 20-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori has been one of the most promising players from Northern Europe together with Casper Ruud and Ymer brothers, putting Finland back on the tennis map. The Helsinki native kicked off the season from just outside the top-400 and made incredible progress, claiming two Futures titles and four Challenger crowns from five finals to crack the top-120.

Before 2019, Emil had only three Challenger victories under his belt, changing all that from the spring swing and becoming one of the most successful players on that level in the season. Competing in only four Futures in the first three months of the year, struggling to make progress on the ATP list in the first five and a half months before Fergana Challenger where he grabbed the first title and 80 points, ranked 410th.

With a much better ranking position, Ruusuvuori reached another final in Augsburg before conquering the Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca to find himself in the top-200 after the US Open. In September, Emil claimed two heroic wins for Finland over Austria in the Davis Cup, beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2 and claiming the title in Glasgow Challenger a week later, rattling off 14 triumphs in the last 15 encounters.

Emil had the opportunity to close the season in front of the home fans in Helsinki in November, winning the fourth Challenger title after losing just one set to wrap up the year on a high note and make the perfect starting position ahead of 2020 where he should enter the top-100 very soon.

As a reward, Emil got a chance to get back to Mallorca and work with world no. 1 Rafael Nadal at his Academy, gathering experience and advice from one of the greatest players of all time. Nadal will make a trip to Abu Dhabi soon, entering the Mubadala World Tennis Championship to start official preparations for the 2020 season ahead of the ATP Cup that starts in less than 20 days.