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  • Monte Carlo Masters Tips And Best Bets: Casper Ruud And Lorenzo Musetti Big Value Picks

Monte Carlo Masters tips and best bets: Casper Ruud and Lorenzo Musetti big-value picks

Nothing screams that spring has sprung quite like watching the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters, an iconic jewel in the ATP tennis calendar.

With a week of sun, sea and excellent tennis to look forward to, what’s not to like, especially if you live in the UK and have been subject to some truly odious weather in recent weeks.

Every one of the top 14 players in the world is in the Principality, with clay legend Rafael Nadal missing out for the second year in a row due to a hip injury.

Nadal’s absence will be felt - after all he in an 11-time champion in these parts - and one wonders now whether he will even get to the French Open in what is meant to be his swansong season?

There is no time to mourn him however as this field is simply red hot. Andrey Rublev seeks to defend his title here this week but that will take some doing, as the Russian’s recent form has been mega erratic. He is 15-6 this year, and has suffered early in Miami and Indian Wells in recent weeks.

Carlos Alcaraz heads the betting, and the Spaniard has looked back to his best in spells in 2024, especially during that title run at Indian Wells.  He has an impressive 52-7 win-loss record over the past two seasons on red dirt too, and has all the tools to go well on clay.

His lightening speed around the court, aggressive baseline play and tactical ingenuity mean he is a match for anyone on his day and I’ve got ‘Carlitos’ in various long-term Accas to be 2024 French Open champion.

However, the top half of the draw is really stacked here and in a best-of-three format I’m in no rush to back him at 2/1.

Bizarrely the Spaniard has yet to win a match in Monte Carlo. Injury ruled him out last year and Alcaraz played in Monte-Carlo for the first time two years ago, losing his opening match to big-hitting American Sebastian Korda.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how Novak Djokovic goes. He’s on record as saying Grand Slams are his priority at this stage of his career, but a surprising early exit in Indian Wells has raised fresh questions about his ability to compete at the very top level in the winter of his career.

If he won Monte Carlo, he almost certainly begin the French Open as the betting jolly, but he’s in a stacked top half here and 7/2 odds to win courtesy of Planet Sport Bet look a bit skinny.

Djokovic is a two-time champion, but Nole has not made it past the quarter-finals at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in seven attempts since his championship run in 2015.

Lorenzo Musetti upset Djokovic in the third round last season and they could go head-to-head at the same stage this year.

Musetti looks an interesting floater. The Italian has won two ATP titles (Hamburg and Napoli in 2022) but has yet to reach a QF in any major. He has an explosive game on clay and it would not be a huge shock to see him beat Djokovic and for his draw to open up.

Another Italian, Jannik Sinner, has been the shining light on the ATP Tour so far this season, and looked absolutely unplayable during his run to the Miami Masters title the other week.

Can the Italian transform that hardcourt form to clay though? He was very honest when speak to the press at the weekend.

“It is going to be very interesting to see how players deal with the situation to go from hard to clay. It is important to practise in a certain way. The first week is very tough, you usually have strange results. It is going to be interesting to see,” Sinner said in his pre-tournament press conference on Sunday.

“The hard-court swing was really, really good for me, now we see what I can do on clay. Last year I played well here and then after I didn’t play well, so let’s see.”

Sinner is a 3/1 shout to win in the Principality, and while he should be confident the slower conditions won’t suit his all-action game.

Casper Ruud, with back-to-back French Open finals to his name, also demands respect. He’s 20/1 for glory but lost in the semis while carrying our cash in Estoril last week.

I just feel 20/1 is too big about a player who thrives in these slow conditions (the terrain at Monte Carlo is probably more similar to Roland Garros than any track in the world) and so am willing to give him another chance.

Francisco Cerundolo at 100/1 could also be worth a go if you are looking for a dark horse. The Argentine is another two-time ATP event winner who loves the clay.

To summarise then. While it would not be a shock at all to see Messrs Alcaraz or Sinner with their hands on the trophy next Sunday, they look short enough in the outright betting.

Ruud and Musetti are live outsiders here, and clay specialists, and look worth a punt at fancy prices.

Suggested bets:

Casper Ruud to win the Monte Carlo Masters at 20/1

Lorenzo Musetti (each-way) to win the Monte Carlo Masters at 40/1

*all odds correct at the time of article publication

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