Will Djokovic reach the semi-finals?

Yesterday saw Murray make a shock exit from the Monte Carlo Rolex, losing 2-1 to Albert Ramos-Vinolas after leading by two breaks of serve in the final set. I recommended backing Ramos to win the first set, but instead he won the second and third. My second wager was a winner when Carreno-Busta lost 6-2 4-6 6-4 to Djokovic to cover the +4.5 game handicap. Meanwhile, Wawrinka was knocked out in straight sets by Pablo Cuevas and Nadal brushed Zverev aside for a comfortable victory, only dropping two games.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas v Marin Cilic

Yesterday afternoon Ramos was two breaks of serve down against number one seed Andy Murray and could be backed at around 50/1 in-play. However, Ramos defied the odds and managed a miraculous comeback to defeat Murray 2-1. Today he faces Croat Marin Cilic, who managed to take down Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

Ramos may be feeling some fatigue after his win yesterday but he will be feeling on top of the world and a confidence boost may serve him well today. Cilic won their only head-to-head match on clay 2-0 in Hamburg in 2012, so not much can be taken from that given it was 5 years ago. Cilic will make it difficult for Ramos to break with his big serve but Ramos is a seasoned clay court specialist and will put up a fight against today’s opponent in a bid to reach the semi-finals.

On clay this year Ramos has played 19 matches, whereas Cilic played his first clay court match here in Monte Carlo just 2 days ago. In my opinion Cilic has been priced up way too short and Ramos has more of a chance than his odds would suggest. I expect a long, hard-fought match here in this 10:00 UK time match, so I’d recommend backing over 22.5 total games at odds of 1.83.

Goffin v Djokovic

At around 13:00 UK time, Goffin and Djokovic will step onto the court for a place in the semi-finals in what will be their 7th career meeting. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 5-1, with Goffin’s sole victory coming in an exhibition match last year. On clay they have only played one match, that was at the French Ope in 2013 and Djokovic won 7-6 6-4 7-5. To put things into perspective, Goffin was a 28/1 outsider that day, today he is only 3.40 which highlights how much has changed in the last 4 years.

Goffin is now a top player, ranked 13th in the world, he is now fighting for a place in the race to London ATP finals in November. Djokovic on the other hand isn’t the same player he was this time last year and has lost his number one ranking to Andy Murray since then.

Goffin has only played three matches on tour this year and has won all three. He’s going to be feeling confident today considering how tight he kept the match 4 years ago against a match more superior Djokovic, and coming back from a break down in the final set yesterday against Dominic Thiem.

I’m going to be looking at opposing Djokovic once again today as he clearly hasn’t fully recovered from his elbow injury, so I’m going to be backing Goffin to win with a +1.5 set handicap at 1.80. For people looking for more value, I’d be tempted to back Goffin to win this match at around 3.40.

Best Bets:

Ramos v Cilic over 22.5 games @ 1.83

Goffin to win with game handicap +3.5 @ 1.80

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