Guido Pella - 2.5 games v Daniel Gimeno-Traver: These players have already met once on the Tour this season in Rio de Janeiro when Guido Pella had to come from a set down to see off Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Both players are very comfortable on the clay courts, although this time Gimeno-Traver may be looking for the European clay to give him an advantage over Argentinian Pella who won on the South American clay.
Neither player has really had a strong clay court season since the move across to Europe and both have suffered disappointing early losses. However both have played well in Bucharest to get through to the Second Round, although the more impressive win was Pella's.
He will need to serve effectively from the left handed stance to keep Gimeno-Traver from getting too comfortable in the match and it would be a surprise if both the Spaniard and Pella don't suffer some breaks of serve. While it is difficult holding serve consistently on the slower surfaces, both Pella and Gimeno-Traver know they need to protect the first serve to give them the best chance of progressing through to the Quarter Finals.
I do think Pella is more likely to do that and I do think he can come through this one with a 75, 64 kind of win.
Ekaterina Makarova - 1.5 games v Roberta Vinci: It hasn't been the best season for Ekaterina Makarova but the run at the Miami Masters might have given her the confidence to take into the clay court season. The tournament in Stuttgart is a tough one from the very opening match so Makarova will need to be at her best when she faces Roberta Vinci.
Their previous matches have been competitive with Makarova winning three and Vinci winning two of those. It is the Russian who won their one previous match on the clay courts, while Vinci will have to pick herself up from two very one-sided losses to the Spanish team at the Fed Cup.
There has been a title win for Vinci this season, but generally it has been an inconsistent season for the Italian who had a memorable run to the US Open Final last season. She is obviously very happy on the clay courts being from Italy, but this is a tough match up for her with the obvious power advantage that Makarova has.
Makarova is also a lefty which means she will be attacking the weaker Vinci wing- the Italian relies on a sliced backhand which should allow Makarova to dominate the points and I will back her to win this in three sets and get over this number.
Karolina Pliskova - 2.5 games v Lucie Safarova: It might be Lucie Safarova who is the higher Ranked player in this contest, but she has not been in the kind of form to take on compatriot Karolina Pliskova in this contest in Stuttgart. In fact Safarova has lost all four matches she has played in 2016 after a delayed start to the season and she is yet to win a set which is going to be tough to change against Pliskova.
I don't think there is any doubting that Pliskova is better on the faster surfaces as her movement is not the best around the court and can be exposed on the clay courts. However the serve should still be effective on the indoor clay courts and Pliskova has had some positive results on the surface which should mean she can see off Safarova.
It has to be a matter of time before Safarova turns her form around, but it could be a big test for her in this one. Some of the losses that Safarova has suffered have been really disappointing and that has to have knocked the confidence to a level that Pliskova can take advantage of.
Not being able to protect her serve as she would normally like is an issue for Safarova and I think Pliskova will earn enough cheap points to lead to a 76, 64 win.
Angelique Kerber - 5.5 games v Annika Beck: Coming off the Australian Open win has been tough for Angelique Kerber, but there have been signs she is coming to terms with the target on her back. The German will meet compatriot Annika Beck in the Second Round here in Stuttgart and Kerber should be full of confidence after two impressive wins in Fed Cup action.
Playing on the clay should suit Kerber who also reached the Semi Final in Charleston before pulling out with an injury, and I expect she will be too good for Beck. The latter had an impressive win in the First Round, and had some good results on clay last season, but Beck has to really raise her level to stay with someone as good as Kerber.
At the Australian Open, Kerber beat Beck 64, 60 but that was a closer match than the scoreline suggested with Kerber and Beck both struggling to hold serve at times.
That could easily occur here again, but Kerber should be able to work her way through to break points more often than Beck. That should help her produce a 64, 62 win in this one and move into the next Round.
Guide Pella - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ekaterina Makarova - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Karolina Pliskova - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Angelique Kerber - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 William Hill (2 Units)
Weekly Update: 1-1, - 0.40 Units (4 Units Staked, - 10% Yield)