Young-gun hopes Jannik Sinner and Casper Rudd booked places in the Madrid Masters second round on Tuesday with straight-set sweeps.
Sinner, the tournament No. 14, advanced 6-2, 4-4 as Argentine opponent Guido Pella retired injured.
Ruud extended the clay-court misery for Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime – coached on the dirt by Toni Nadal – in a 6-1, 6-4 decision.
Sinner made a tournament debut in 65 minutes to run his season record to 19-7.
“It was a good first match obviously. Unfortunately for Guido, you never want to win like this,” the 19-year-old Italian said,
“I really wish him good luck, because he’s a great player and a nice guy.
“For me, it’s the first time here in the altitude (800 metres), so it’s a little bit different.
“The ball goes quite fast so you have to somehow search for the right balance on court, which I think is the main goal here.
“But we came here quite early, so already one week now, I’m very happy to play one more match tomorrow.”
The 22nd-ranked Norwegian Ruud who has reached four consecutive ATP quarter-finals this season, left Auger-Aliassime with two wins from five matches played since he hooked up with Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach.
Ruud needed 91 minutes to move into the second round, closing it out on a fifth match point.
“I’m very happy with the way I played, I’ll take all the Masters 1000 wins I can get. I played solid and steady today.
“Madrid is a little bit different to other clay-court events because of the high bounces and altitude. I hit with good length and I served unbelievably well today.”
Ruud,a Monte Carlo and Munich semi-finalist, moved through without facing a break point to improve to 7-2 on European clay this season.
“I’ve proved myself in Rome (he was on the other side of the net in the NIck Kyrgios chair-tossing incident of 2019) and in Monte Carlo that I can play at a high level.
“To reach the semis here, I’ll have to play well again. I have a lot of motivation to play well throughout the clay-court season.”
Main photo:- Casper Ruud into the second round by – Corinne Dubreuil/ATPTour.com