Del Potro cruises through, landmark win for Verdasco in Madrid

Juan Martin del Potro impressed in his first outing on clay this season while Fernando Verdasco reached a notable milestone at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

Del Potro had few problems against Damir Dzumhur, recording a 6-3 6-3 victory after just 80 minutes on court in the Spanish capital.

Next up will be Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who triumphed in two tie-breaks to knock out veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-1).

Verdasco, meanwhile, recorded his 500th win on the ATP Tour as he saw off the challenge of Italian Paolo Lorenzi in straight sets.

Milos Raonic came out on top in a tense three-set tussle to knock out third seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Kyle Edmund overcame Daniil Medvedev to book a Wednesday appointment with Novak Djokovic, who impressed on Monday against Kei Nishikori.

Roberto Bautista Agut, the 11th seed, rallied from a set down to defeat Jared Donaldson in first-round action, but ninth seed Pablo Carreno Busta fell to a surprise defeat in his opener against Croatia's Borna Coric.

 

RAONIC ON THE RISE

A semi-finalist earlier in the year at Indian Wells, Raonic is looking to climb up the rankings after his 2017 season was blighted by injury issues.

"I'm trying to move forward. That's where I can do my best. That's where I can give myself the best opportunity to win," the Canadian told the ATP Tour after beating Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 6-3.

"I'm happy with that. I'm happy with the fact that I was able to execute and serve well."

He will face compatriot Denis Shapovalov - who also went the distance in his clash with Frenchman Benoit Paire - for a place in the quarter-finals.

 

ELITE COMPANY

Verdasco became just the ninth active player to amass 500 victories - and then insisted he is not done just yet.

"I'm 34 years old now and I'm battling against 21, 22, 23-year-olds - kids a lot younger than I am," the Spaniard said. "They have a lot less kilometres on their legs. I just have to work really hard, stay highly motivated and believe that I can beat them."

The Spaniard - who reached a career high of seven in the world rankings back in 2009 - certainly looked motivated against Lorenzi, serving five aces to book a second-round match with Leonardo Mayer.

He then returned to court later to triumph in doubles action, combining with David Marrero to see off German siblings Alexander and Mischa Zverev.

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