Defending champion Rafael Nadal beat David Goffin 6-3, 6-1 to move within one more win of a 10th Monte Carlo Masters title and first of the season on Saturday.
Nadal will play 15th-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas in an all-Spanish final after the latter beat Lucas Pouille of France 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
Although the score suggests a comfortable win for Nadal, Goffin’s momentum was halted by a controversial decision by chair umpire Cedric Mourier in the sixth game. Goffin was asked to replay game point after holding his serve for what would have been a 4-2 lead.
“All of a sudden you have a mistake like the chair umpire did, it’s really tough,” Goffin said. “When you have a mistake like this, you have to give more energy again to come back into the game. It was maybe too much.”
Goffin was incensed at what he basically called an improvised decision by Mourier to point at a mark that didn’t correspond.
“He just showed me something, I don’t know what,” Goffin said. “I saw on his face that he was nervous, he wasn’t sure.”
Nadal’s celebrations were muted after he clinched victory on his third match point and he sympathetically hugged Goffin at the net. Nadal shook Mourier’s hand, but Goffin did not and walked straight past him to pick up his bags.
“I have nothing against Cedric, he’s a very nice guy,” Goffin said. “But he makes mistakes.”