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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Monte Carlo Masters Tennis Picks 2017 (April 23rd)

The Final of the Monte Carlo Masters takes place on Sunday and the organisers will be hoping to avoid the controversy that affected the second Semi Final on Saturday.

David Goffin looked to have moved into a 4-2 lead in the first set against Rafael Nadal after a long service game, but the umpire Cedric Mourier came out of his chair to pick out the wrong mark and force a replay of the point. All that despite the ball being shown to have landed almost six inches out on the hawkeye system seconds later.

The fact Goffin won just one of the next eleven games from the moment that call was made can't completely be blamed on the terrible, terrible call Mourier made, but it did produce the turning point as the Belgian could not get back into the match.

It will lead to more questions as to why hawkeye, which has been a tremendous success on the tennis court, is not used on clay when mistakes are made that can be cleared up in seconds. I don't even mind if it is used for those marks that are being disputed, although opening the door will likely see hawkeye employed the exact same way on the clay as it is on other surfaces.

The fact the ball leaves a mark on the clay courts is why there has been a resistance to using hawkeye which is said to have a very minimal error margin, but at this point I think most players accept what the machine tells them that even a mark on the court may not be enough to change their belief in the system.

The other option is for someone working behind the scenes to check hawkeye when something like the Goffin-Nadal situation comes up and just allow the umpire to know whether the mark being checked is the correct one. Again it would likely open the door for hawkeye to be used in full, but that seems a much better idea than the situation we saw on Saturday.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas + 5.5 games v Rafael Nadal: I have opposed Rafael Nadal twice this week and twice I have paid for going against the best clay court player of all time. In the other two matches he has won, Nadal has struggled a lot more, but I am going to the well for the third time in what has been a solid week for the tennis picks before we head to more big events beginning on Monday.

Opposing Nadal hasn't been good for me, but I can't help feel that Albert Ramos-Vinolas is being under-rated here with his strong clay court player over the last eleven months beginning at the French Open in 2016.

His serve can be a weakness at times and that is the worry here as Ramos-Vinolas could easily drop a set 6-1 or 6-2 which will put him in a very difficult position to cover even with this number of games. However Ramos-Vinolas is capable of playing some very strong tennis of his own and I do think he can trouble Nadal if the latter is perhaps not feeling his very best tennis from the off.

The key for Ramos-Vinolas is to win a few games early to show to himself that he can compete with Nadal. He has won some big matches already this week, but Ramos-Vinolas has to accept there will be times when Nadal is playing to a level he can't compete with. Instead Ramos-Vinolas has to keep playing his steady game and not push to stay with Nadal in those moments but look to play at his own pace and look to take advantage when Nadal does make the slips he didn't used to on the clay courts.

There will be chances for Ramos-Vinolas and he has to capitalise on those if he is going to make this a competitive Final. I can see him doing that and I will take the games in this one.

MY PICKS: Albert Ramos-Vinolas + 5.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Monte Carlo Update: 12-5, + 12.56 Units (34 Units Staked, + 36.94% Yield)

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