Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman overcame 53 unforced errors to defeat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in Barcelona, Spain.
Nishioka struggled with cramps during the 2-hour, 19-minute match. Schwartzman, ranked No. 25 in the world, was playing his third match in Barcelona after having to qualify because he forgot to sign up before the tournament deadline.
Schwartzman will face third-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria in the second round. Thiem is 3-2 in their head-to-head series, but Schwartzman has won the last two meetings — including a three-setter at the Argentina Open in February.
Elsewhere on Monday, Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer outlasted Romania’s Marius Copil 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5 and will face top seed and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Two other former champions are in the draw, with 2010 winner Fernando Verdasco defeating Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-3 in an all-Spanish battle. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 2014 Barcelona champ and fourth seed this year, will face Taylor Fritz in the second round after Fritz’s 6-3, 6-4 win against fellow American Reilly Opelka.
Other winners Monday included Mackenzie McDonald, Spain’s Jaume Munar, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, Chile’s Nicolas Jarry and Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini fired 11 aces in a 6-4, 6-4 upset of seventh-seeded Mikhail Kukushkin of Kasakhstan in first-round action in Budapest.
In the second round, Berrettini will face Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who was down a double break in the first set but rallied for a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory against Australia’s Bernard Tomic.
Eighth-seeded Radu Albot of Moldova opened with a 7-5, 6-4 win against Sergiy Stakhovsky, breaking the Ukrainian twice in each set and closing it out on his fourth match point in 1 hour, 41 minutes.
Albot will face qualifier Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, who dropped five match points in the second set but recovered to beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-7 (3), 7-5.
–Field Level Media