The Pick MC Ramos-Vinolas Norrie R2

On Wednesday, world No. 10 Cameron Norrie will take on Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in Monaco. While Norrie is the higher-ranked player in this match, and has won 15 of his last 19 matches, this one isn’t quite as straightforward as it might look. Ramos-Vinolas comes in as the 37th-ranked player on the ATP tour, but he’d probably be considered among the 15 best players when it comes to competing on clay.

The 34-year-old has already put together a successful clay-court season and it’s only April. The veteran is 9-4 on the dirt in 2022, capturing the Cordoba crown during February's Golden Swing. Ramos-Vinolas has won four ATP titles in his career, and all four of them have come on clay. The Spaniard reached the biggest final of his career back here in 2017, so he knows what it takes to be successful at this venue. On top of that, one of Ramos-Vinolas’ triumphs came against Norrie, in the final of the 2021 Estoril Open.

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While Norrie has always battled hard in their meetings, Ramos-Vinolas owns a 3-1 lead in their head-to-head series. These two southpaws first met in a Davis Cup rubber four years ago, when the Spaniard won in four sets. Ramos-Vinolas then won his next two matches against Norrie on clay, and also pushed the Brit to a third set when they met on grass last June. That was a match Norrie should have taken more convincingly, but it reinforced how much Ramos-Vinolas likes this match-up.

Norrie is a player that has a rock-solid game in all facets, and he generally outworks and outsmarts his opponents. The 26-year-old is also a very good on-court adjuster, which is part of the reason he has made his way to the upper echelon of the rankings. Norrie might not always start hot, but generally finds a way to break down his opponent. However, the game Ramos-Vinolas presents isn’t all that different. He does his best work as a counterpuncher and is really good at point construction. The Spaniard isn’t going to lose the battle between the ears in this one, and we know his style is better suited for this tour stop.

Ramos-Vinolas utilizes topspin with the best of them, especially from the forehand side, and he’s going to use that to push Norrie back on the court. Ultimately, that will allow the crafty veteran to dictate play, and we think he’ll come through in this one. Considering their head-to-head history and Ramos-Vinolas’ preference for the dirt, it’s surprising to see him as an underdog in this spot. But we’re not complaining, as it just means better value for us.

The Pick: Ramos-Vinolas To Win (+130)