Thomaz Bellucci looks to end the hopes of Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the quarter-finals of ATP Stuttgart.
Bellucci is making his debut at the Mercedes Cup but after finding his form again by winning a challenger title in Braunschweig last week, he arrived in Stuttgart well acclimatised to German clay and it showed in his second round win over third seed Bernard Tomic.
Tomic had his chances but converted just two of ten break points on the Bellucci serve and was made to pay as the experienced Brazilian toughed out a 7-6(6), 6-3 win.
"It was very tough," Bellucci said. "At the beginning of the match I was a little bit nervous. When I was 1-4 down, I started to play better and in the second set I was feeling more comfortable and more confident."
Stebe was ranked outside the world's top 200 when he made the quarters of this event last year, beating former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero in the process. His progress to the last eight has been a little less dramatic this year but he showed impressive mental fortitude to see off 2009 champion Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 in the second round.
It's the first time he's won back to back matches on the main tour this year but it's hard to see him stopping Bellucci on this surface.
Prediction: Bellucci in two.