The events in Barcelona and Stuttgart are bigs one on the road to Roland Garros, but the offerings on Monday proved to be too light for me to get involved. I had a couple of players on my shortlist but ultimately I wasn't satisfied with either and that probably was a good thing in hindsight.
On Tuesday we have plenty more matches to choose from, although I can only find a couple of picks I am willing to put up from all of those.
Elias Ymer - 1.5 games v Thiemo de Bakker: Both of these players might be Ranked outside the top 100, but the potential for future success has to be on the side of Elias Ymer. He is 20 years old and should improve as his experience does, but Thiemo de Bakker is much older and looks to have found his level.
The latter has a big serve which makes him very dangerous, but he has struggled for consistency at the higher level and has not been in good recent form. It has to be said that de Bakker has produced some solid wins at the Challenger level on the clay so he should be accustomed to taking on opponents like Ymer who also spend a lot of time at that level.
However Ymer is coming off a Challenger winning effort which should give him plenty of confidence to take into this tournament. He also managed to come from behind to beat de Bakker here in Barcelona last season but a key to this match for the Swedish player is making sure he protects his second serve compared with his opponent.
This should be a tight match, but winning that title last week should stand Ymer in good stead in this one. I can see a few breaks of serve being shared out by both players but I do think Ymer can have the confidence to move into the Second Round.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 5.5 games v Jaume Munar: This is the battle of two compatriots who are from different generations as 28 year old Albert Ramos-Vinolas plays 18 year old Jaume Munar. This still looks a big bridge for Munar to gap to someone as capable as Ramos-Vinolas on the clay courts, especially as he won just three games against him last season when they met in a Challenger event.
I think Munar is capable of making this a little closer, but ultimately I am backing Ramos-Vinolas to use all of his experience to come through with a fairly routine victory.
The clay courts means the better player should be able to earn at least a couple of breaks of serve in a single set which is the key to getting over this number. Recent results haven't been the best for Ramos-Vinolas but defeats to the likes of Paul-Henri Mathieu and Roberto Bautista Agut are against players of a significantly higher level than Munar.
On the other hand Munar has lost matches at the Futures and Challenger level by wide margins which suggests the youngster is still finding his feet on the Tour. This should show up here again as I am looking for Ramos-Vinolas to win this one 64, 62.
MY PICKS: Elias Ymer - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Season 2016: - 25.32 Units (656 Units Staked, - 3.86% Yield)
Season 2015: - 21.81 Units (1812 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
Season 2014: + 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)