World No 1 Andy Murray was the headline act at the Madrid Open on Tuesday and the Scot booked his place in the third round with a straight-sets victory over Marius Copil.
The Romanian put in a creditable display despite ultimately losing 6-4, 6-3 and looked good value for his first foray into the top 100, confirmed by his victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round one.
But he was unable to stave off Andy Murray, who goes on to face Borna Coric or Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the last 16.
Lucas Pouille was the biggest casualty of the day, losing to compatriot Herbert in three sets, while Novak Djokovic discovered who his second-round opponent will be.
That man is Nicolas Almagro – the only one of six Spaniards in action on Tuesday to make it through to the next round.
Ivo Karlovic had a match point…then @BautistaAgut did THIS!!!#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/IlWE6KwFy0— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 9, 2017
MURRAY MAKES IT LOOK EASY
A routine win over the world number 104 may look unremarkable on paper, but Murray himself will concede that he was made to work at times by the resolute Romanian.
Copil produced a number of good shots to keep pace with Murray for long spells, although he ultimately produced too many unforced errors to make the positive aspects of his play count.
One humorous moment arrived when Copil inadvertently struck Manolo Santana – the man after whom the court is named – with a powerful shot, the four-time grand slam winner taking it in good humour.
Manolo Santana is NOT the guy you want to hit Marius, especially after he gave you the wildcard…#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/ScBR7s877u— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 9, 2017
Murray, who is now 11-0 in opening matches in Madrid, congratulated Copil on his achievement of breaking the top 100 after wrapping up the win.
AU REVOIR POUILLE
After Jack Sock and Gael Monfils bit the dust on Monday, Pouille became the third seed to fail to make it out of the first round, losing 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.
Taking on Herbert in an all-French encounter, the world number 13 squandered an early break point as the opening set went to a tie-break he would ultimately lose.
Pouille had to come from a break down to take the next set via the same method but was unable to repeat the trick in the third, winning just two points in the last five games against his 88th-ranked opponent.
Herbert now takes on Coric, who pulled off an upset of his own in beating Mischa Zverev 6-3 7-6 (7-5).
DJOKOVIC TO FACE ALMAGRO
Almagro may have been the only Spanish player to win a match on Tuesday but he did so at the expense of compatriot Tommy Robredo, prevailing 6-3 3-6 6-1.
The result sets up a second-round match with Djokovic, while Roberto Bautista Agut, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Pablo Carreno Busta and Fernando Verdasco were beaten by Ivo Karlovic, Diego Schwartzman, Benoit Paire and Alexander Zverev respectively on home soil.
WHAT a ride!
11 match points
35 Karlovic aces
And a SPECTACULAR volley by @ivokarlovic to end it!!! pic.twitter.com/GNv8zr8bk7— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 9, 2017
Karlovic saved four match points to triumph in his three-hour epic, which featured no service breaks.
Elsewhere, there were wins for David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Gilles Muller and Ryan Harrison.