Brazil's Joao Souza leads the field for this week's Manta Challenger on the clay of Ecuador.
Ranked 133 in the world, the 6'4 Souza has been trying to mix it on the main tour this year with mixed success. He's made a couple of quarter-finals in Belgrade and Vina Del Mar but there's been a lot of first round defeats and qualifying losses too. It's not surprise that rather than competing on the hard courts of North America, he's headed to the one place in the world where you can still compete on clay at this time of the year.
This field in Manta is pretty weak and so as the only player in the world's top 150 who's competing, Souza is the big favourite to win the title. He could potentially be challenged by the Argentine second seed Guido Pella who won the strong Salinas Challenger back in March and reached the Lima semi-finals a few weeks ago.
This is traditionally a strong event for Argentina with Brian Dabul winning the title last year and they've got a number of strong competitors in the field. 20 year old Agustin Velotti is seeded fifth and could give Souza a run for his money in the quarters after a superb season to date which has seen him reach a career high of 202. Having made three challenger semis in Central and South America this year, he's got what it takes to go deep.
Fourth seed Guido Andreozzi could also be in contention to come through the top half of the draw and reach the final going by recent form. Andreozzi won the Lima Challenger at the start of July, beating compatriot Pella along the way.