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Ruusuvuori Beats Paul, Seals Historic Davis Cup Final 8 Place For Finland

In a winner-takes-all tie between Finland and the United States, Saturday singles victories from Emil Ruusuvuori and Otto Virtanen sent Finland into the Davis Cup Final 8 at their opponents' expense.

After a 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(7) win for Virtanen against Mackenzie McDonald, Ruusuvuori clinched the tie with a 7-6(1), 6-4 victory against Tommy Paul on his fourth match point in Split.

The result means that Finland (2-1) will join the Netherlands (2-0) in advancing out of Group D and into the Davis Cup knockout rounds in Malaga this November. It is Finland's first time progressing to the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

History for Finland ??@tennisfi make the Final 8 for the very first time!#DavisCup pic.twitter.com/QodefvVCa3

— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) September 16, 2023

Virtanen gutted out a thrilling opening win against McDonald, escaping 0/40 at 5-5 in the third set and then saving two match points in the decisive tie-break. Ruusuvuori put the final touches on a brilliant Finnish performance throughout the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage. He won the first set against Paul despite trailing 1-3 and 2-5, and claimed the second with a break after failing to serve out the match at 5-3.

"You can hear it from the [fans]. It means a lot for the whole country, for tennis in Finland. It's a huge thing," Ruusuvuori said post-match. "We're going to Malaga!"

After missing the US Open with an illness, the 24-year-old dictated much of the play against Paul, the World No. 13.

"I just needed to play very precise tennis against Tommy. He's so quick," Ruusuvuori said. "I've got to keep fighting, and then in the end I was able to get it."

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