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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Consistent Pouille looks primed to pip Ramos-Vinolas

Busy Spaniard could well have run his race in principality

Lucas Pouille on the way to beating Pablo Cuevas
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ATP Monte Carlo Masters
Sky Sports 3, 10.30am Saturday

Andy Murray's early exit from the Monte Carlo Masters means there's an unlikely semi-final line-up in the top half of the draw with Lucas Pouille, an 80-1 chance ante-post, taking on 200-1 shot Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

It could be close, especially with Ramos-Vinolas, an underachiever for much of his early career, still dining out on his victory over Murray.

The 29-year-old Spaniard showed that was no fluke when deservedly ousting Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7 6-2 in the last eight, but Ramos-Vinolas may meet his match against Pouille.

The Frenchman, 23, is showing signs of becoming one of the most complete performers on tour. He seems comfortable on any terrain and, with the lion's share of support in the principality, he can reach his first Masters Series final.

Pouille reached the last four courtesy of a 6-0 3-6 7-5 victory over seasoned Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan is seldom an easy opponent to defeat on clay so the younger man should be happy with that triumph.

Ramos will hope his clay-court background is enough to propel him into his first Masters Series title decider, but Pouille is a precocious talent who could be difficult to stop.

Switzerland, the 5-4 favourites for the Fed Cup, visit outsiders Belarus in the first of the semi-final clashes. The Czech Republic visit USA in the other last-four tie.

Recommendation
L Pouille
2pts 10-11 Ladbrokes

Pouille seems comfortable on any terrain and will have the lion's share of support
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