Rising Finnish star Emil Ruusuvuori claimed one of the biggest wins of his career on Monday at Melbourne Park and afterward showed his respect for former world No. 6 Gael Monfils. Ruusuvuori, ranked at No. 86 in the world, showed great mental strength in his Australian Open opener as he edged out No.
10 seed Monfils 3-6 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3. Monfils, who is coming off a rough 2020, was hoping to make a positive start to his season at Melbourne Park. "For sure [it was] a tough one. Probably the longest match I've ever played and a tough five-setter against a great player.
But I thought I played a good match," Ruusuvuori said after the match, per the ATP website. "Both [of us] were a little up and down, and that's how it went to five, but yeah, I was able to come through today and just really happy about that."
Ruusuvuori wins a tight contest
Ruusuvuori recovered from an early break down but then lost his serve two mores times as Monfils won the opener. After dropping his serve three times in the first set, Ruusuvori broke Monfils in the opening game of the second and then held on to his serve to level the match at one set apiece.
Monfils had a great chance to take a 2-1 set lead but he blew a 5-3 third-set lead as Ruusuvuori stole the third set. In the fourth set, Monfils broke Ruusuvuori in the sixth game and this time had no problems serving out for the set in the ninth game.
Ruusuvuori claimed the lone break of the fifth set in the fourth game as he served out the rest of the set to earn a tight five-set win. "I played a couple of times against him. He's very tough, very good physically.
He makes a tonne of balls," Ruusuvuori said. "I'll take the good things from today's match and try to put them on [the court] Wednesday and we'll see how it goes."