Emil Ruusuvuori made the most of his ATP Masters 1000 qualifying debut on Thursday in Flushing Meadows. The #NextGenATP Finn upset World No. 59 Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4 to reach the final round of qualifying at the Western & Southern Open.
The 21-year-old performed well under pressure against the French veteran, saving all three break points he faced while converting each of the four break points he earned. Ruusuvuori won 67 per cent of his second-serve return points in a 61-minute victory.
Last year, Ruusuvuori became the youngest player to win four ATP Challenger Tour titles in a season since Hyeon Chung in 2015. He will try to make his maiden Masters 1000 main draw when he faces 20th seed Thiago Monteiro, who ousted Argentine Federico Coria 6-3, 6-4. Ruusuvuori, No. 101 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is on the verge of cracking the Top 100 for the first time.
Another #NextGenATP star, Jannik Sinner, was not as successful on the first day of ATP Tour play since action was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Salvatore Caruso rallied past his fellow Italian 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and three minutes. Caruso converted six of his 10 break points against the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion. He will next play seventh seed Jordan Thompson, who beat wild card Michael Mmoh 6-2, 7-6(2).
Gilles Simon, the top seed in qualifying, showed good form to eliminate Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-3, 6-3 in 77 minutes. The former World No. 6 will play wild card Sebastian Korda, who beat Hungarian Attila Balazs 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, for a spot in his 12th Western & Southern Open main draw.
Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama crushed eight aces in a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory against third seed Pablo Cuevas. German Dominik Koepfer, who advanced to the fourth round of the 2019 US Open at this venue, also caused an upset. The lefty beat fifth seed Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 7-6(0).
All final-round qualifying matches will be played Friday, with the Western & Southern Open main draw kicking off Saturday.