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Casper Ruud vs. Emil Ruusuvuori French Open Odds, Prediction (May 26)

Casper Ruud vs. Emil Ruusuvuori French Open Odds, Prediction (May 26) article feature image
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(Paolo Bruno / Stringer, Getty Images)
Pictured: Emil Ruusuvuori.

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Casper Ruud vs. Emil Ruusuvuori Odds

Ruud Odds -715
Ruusuvuori Odds +460
Total 34.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 5:00 a.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.

After a four-set escape against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Frenchman’s farewell match, life won’t get much easier for Casper Ruud with upstart Emil Ruusuvuori up next. Can the Fin find a way into this match with the World No. 8? Let’s have a closer look at the matchup.

Casper Ruud

From a young age, it was clear Ruud’s game was built for the clay. The son of former ATP pro Christian Ruud burst on the scene in 2017 with a 46-13 clay-court record on the ITF and Challenger levels. From there he’d continue skyrocketing. Ruud did a ton of winning in the Challengers and soon after picked up his maiden title on the dirt at Buenos Aires in 2020. He’d follow that by collecting four more in 2021 in Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel.

All four of those titles, though, came at small ATP 250 tournaments which seldom feature great competition. That drew widespread skepticism over Ruud’s ranking, which seemed to be inflated. All the while, the young Norwegian wasn’t even working on his hardcourt game and simply focused on throwing ATP 250 trophies on his mantle.

Well, the end of last season seemed to confirm Ruud is a very good player. He finished 57-17 and while he picked up a few big wins on clay, the interesting number was his 16-6 hardcourt record, which came with a title in San Diego (also a 250). Ruud and his team clearly did plenty of work on his serve and forehand, adding velocity and flattening it out to increase its effectiveness away from clay.

Things seemed to be working out perfectly for Ruud, but his clay-court season has featured some uncharacteristic losses and contentious matches. The latest of which was in the first round of Roland-Garros, when Ruud dropped the first set against an over-the-hill Tsonga and went down a break at 5-4 in the fourth before the Frenchman injured his shoulder and effectively threw the last three games of the match.

Ruud’s already lost as many times on clay as he did last season and his wins certainly haven’t been as convincing. It’s likely due to the fact that he worked tirelessly on his hardcourt game and it remains to be seen if he can find his form again here in Paris.

Emil Ruusuvuori

Ruusuvuori is a young Finnish player who, simply put, is one of the most solid players on tour. He gives little away, hitting you with a relentless attack of high-percentage groundstrokes on every point. In many ways, I liken him to a Spanish clay-court player with the way he will consistently play the high-percentage shot.

The 23-year-old does have some put-away power as well and makes for an interesting player on the dirt. While he’s never been great on the surface and earned his way to the top 100 on the back of his hardcourt wins, Ruusuvuori has seemed to figure out the surface with a 9-6 record this year after going 2-6 last season.

After getting bounced in the first round of Roland Garros in each of the past two seasons, Ruusuvuori was finally able to get a win in the first round this year — a hard-fought victory over Ugo Humbert. While Humbert has a bad clay-court record and lacked any sort of form entering this tournament, I’d argue he played the best match of his season against Ruusuvuori. With that, I rate the Fin’s win pretty highly.

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As we have learned through the years, sometimes young players who don’t grow up playing clay-court tennis and lack wins there take a few years to figure it out. It doesn’t mean their games don’t work on the dirt, rather they just need some time to learn how to best use the surface.

Last year we saw Cam Norrie become a clay-court menace after he had played few matches on the surface. This year, it was the Aussie Alex De Minaur who captured our eyes. We can’t forget about Ruusuvuori in all of this. He has been one of the hardest outs on a hardcourt for a few years now and seems to be translating that success onto the dirt.

These two met in Barcelona just a month and a half ago and the match was not close. Ruusuvuori hung around for a little while in the first before he was broken twice on the tail end in quick succession and went down an early break in the second. After challenging for the break back at 2-4, he was broken for the match.

The margins weren’t as great as the scoreline would indicate and I think Ruusuvuori has only gotten better over the past month on the clay. He should be able to keep this one close and capitalize on Ruud’s dip in level on the clay.

Pick: Ruusuvuori +6.5 Games (-106)

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