Rafael Nadal cruised to victory over birthday boy Carlos Alcaraz to start his Madrid Open campaign in impressive fashion.

The world number two moved into the last 16 with a 6-1 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

After being knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Andrey Rublev in the last eight, Nadal bounced back to win the Barcelona Open last month and continued his momentum in this round-of-32 clash.

As wildcard Alcaraz turned 18, the spectators sang happy birthday to him but he could not mark the occasion with a famous result against his idol, with Nadal broken just once on his way to a 78-minute victory.

Five-time tournament winner Nadal converted five of his seven break points in a ruthless showing, with Real Madrid greats Iker Casillas and Raul in the crowd to watch him.

Nadal will play Alexei Popyrin, a straight-sets winner against rising star Jannik Sinner, in the next round.

Elsewhere, second seed Daniil Medvedev came from behind to defeat home hope Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6 6-4 6-2. It was his first win in seven ATP Tour matches on clay.

"I am happy with the win," said the Russian.

"The first set wasn't easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I wouldn't win. 

"I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so it is better for my game."

The win means Medvedev has an 18-3 record this season and faces Chile's Cristian Garin next.

Medvedev's compatriot Aslan Karatsev beat Diego Schwartzman 2-6 6-4 6-1, having also defeated the French Open semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year.

In-form Karatsev will face Alexander Bublik next after his fourth top-10 win of the year.

Fifth seed Alexander Zverev said he was "clinical" in dispatching Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2 in just 74 minutes, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Benoit Paire later on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem surged to an emphatic victory on his return to the ATP Tour at the Madrid Open.

US Open champion and two-time Madrid Open runner-up Thiem was playing his first match in nearly two months on Tuesday, having taken a break to recharge.

But it did not take him long to get back into the groove, the third seed easing through his second-round match with American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-1 6-3 at the ATP 1000 event.

"I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out very well in the past days of practice, but I was always practising on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match," Thiem said.

"But there were some things which I think made [the match] a little bit easier after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me.

"Then [I have] amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. I think that's why things worked out quite well tonight."

Next for Thiem in the last 16 is Alex de Minaur, who was leading 6-2 3-0 when Lloyd Harris retired from their match.

It was a largely strong day for the seeded players in the Spanish capital, home hope and ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut beating Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 in a first-round clash.

Andrey Rublev – the sixth seed – came from a set down to beat Tommy Paul 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 and eighth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini joins him in the last 16 after defeating compatriot Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-4.

Jannik Sinner, who is seeded 14th, won in the first round after Guido Pella retired in the second set. However, four seeds did tumble out of the draw.

Felix Auger-Aliassime was thrashed 6-1 6-4 by Casper Ruud in the first round and his Canadian compatriot Denis Shapovalov was beaten 6-4 5-7 6-4 by Alexander Bublik in their second-round encounter.

Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz suffered a second successive second-round exit, the 12th seed defeated 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 by John Millman in a match that went the distance having lost at the same stage in Monte Carlo.

Carlos Alcaraz, a 17-year-old wildcard, will face Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Madrid Open, with the top seeds set to get their campaigns underway on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alcaraz, featuring in an ATP Masters 1000 event for just the second time, was in impressive form as he saw off France's Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0.

The teenager, who will face Nadal on his 18th birthday on Wednesday, fired 19 winners as he took the initiative against his more experienced opponent and his reward is significant.

He became the tournament's youngest ever match winner, beating the record set by Nadal.

"For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true," Alcaraz said as he readies himself to go up against the 20-time grand slam winner.

"Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to here [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa."

He told Tennis Channel: "It's the best present for my birthday."

The biggest casualty of the day was 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who lost 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to Lloyd Harris early on, the South African now 4-0 against top-20 opponents this year.

Two qualifiers in Pablo Andujar and Marcos Giron played out a remarkable encounter that lasted three hours and 21 minutes.

The first set alone clocked in at just over an hour and a half, but eventually Giron came through the gruelling clash 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to set up a meeting with third seed Dominic Thiem.

Fabio Fognini defeated Carlos Taberner 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 for the right to face eighth seed and Italian countryman Matteo Berrettini.

Diego Schwartzman, the seventh seed, awaits Aslan Karatsev after he beat Ugo Humbert in straight sets in what was the Russian's debut appearance at the tournament.

Dan Evans and John Isner were among the other players to secure progress on Monday.

Denis Shapovalov relished feeling much better on court as he impressively bounced back from two consecutive defeats to win at the Madrid Open.

The number 11 seed brushed aside the challenge of Dusan Lajovic on Sunday, winning 6-1 6-3 in the first round.

Shapovalov had suffered disappointment on Thursday when he was knocked out in the second round of the Estoril Open, an event where he was the number one seed.

He has not reached the quarter-finals in his previous two ATP Tour events but won 90 per cent of his first-serve points against Lajovic, hitting 21 winners to his opponent's five.

"Just definitely felt a lot better - I felt very good on the court," Shapovalov said after a 63-minute win in which he did not lose serve. 

"I'm just happy to get the first win.

"Not much can change in the span of a couple of days, but Madrid is a place where I have had a lot of success, from back in juniors to making semis here in the Masters [1000 event] and finals of Davis Cup.

"It's just a place where it kind of feels like home to me and I just feel so comfortable." 

Shapovalov will face Alexander Bublik – who saw off Marton Fucsovics in straight sets – in round two.

Tommy Paul, meanwhile, will play Andrey Rublev after defeating Pedro Martinez.

In the only match of the day to go the distance, Australian Alex de Minaur battled back to triumph 4-6 7-5 6-1 against Jaume Munar.

He will play either Lloyd Harris or Grigor Dimitrov, who are scheduled to do battle on Monday.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has revealed he will not play in the Madrid Open next week.

The world number one on Wednesday announced he will not take his place in the draw at the Caja Magica, where he won the title for a third time two years ago by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic suffered a shock defeat to Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open on home soil last week and the 18-time grand slam champion will not be adding to his list of honours in Madrid.

He stated: "Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans.

"It's been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year!"

Djokovic has won 12 times and been beaten twice this season, claiming a ninth Australian Open crown in February.

The Madrid Open was not staged last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stefanos Tsitsipas landed the first Masters 1000 title of his career as he scored a thumping 6-3 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo.

The Greek star had lost his previous two finals at this level, with Rafael Nadal denying him in Toronto and Novak Djokovic beating him in Madrid.

However, he had the measure of Russian Rublev on the Monte Carlo clay on Sunday, breaking his opponent's serve three times and giving away nothing on his own delivery.

Tsitsipas, who lives in Monte Carlo, said he had experienced an "unbelievable week", declaring it was the pinnacle of his career to date.

"I can't describe the feelings right now," he said on Amazon Prime. "I'm overwhelmed by so many different emotions.

"It's incredible I'm able to be in the position I am, and I think we both deserved being in the final and put on an amazing fight and an amazing show.

"Generally I would consider it the week of my life so far. I knew he was going to be a very difficult opponent to face and there were a lot of nerves coming into that match.

"I've played him in the past, he always wants to bring the best out of us when facing each other."

Rublev beat 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal in the quarter-finals, but the 23-year-old could not hit the heights of that performance in the title match.

Tsitsipas, 22, said: "I'm just proud of the way I managed to behave and to be out on the court today.

"The clay-court season couldn't start better and it's the best thing right now, winning my first Masters 1000, and it's even more special doing it here on home soil in Monte Carlo and doing it on clay which is my favourite surface."

Andrey Rublev reflected on an "amazing feeling" as he booked a Monte Carlo Masters final appearance against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Russian has had a remarkable week at the Masters 1000 event that included a stunning win over 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Rublev continued his fine run with a 6-3 7-5 win over Casper Ruud on Saturday to ensure he will do battle against Tsitsipas in his first final at this level.

Tsitsipas comfortably saw off Dan Evans – who had beaten Novak Djokovic earlier in the tournament – winning his semi-final 6-2 6-1.

Rublev had 21 winners in his 80-minute victory over Ruud and has a record of 24-4 this season, the ATP Tour's best.

"It is an amazing feeling - it is my first [Masters] final, so I am really happy," said Rublev. 

"We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best.

"Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay. Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. 

"I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure."

Rublev defeated Tsitsipas in straight sets on his way to winning an ATP 500 title in Rotterdam last month.

Six of his eight ATP titles have come since the start of last year.

It took Tsitsipas, who has not won a tournament for 14 months, only one hour and nine minutes to see off the challenge of Evans, forcing 11 break points to the Briton's one.

"I am indeed pleased with the performance," Tsitsipas said, with the Greek yet to drop a set in Monte Carlo.

"I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match.

"I'm feeling good. I'm feeling energised. I still have plenty of gas and energy left in me. I was able to have all of my matches done in two sets, so that is a big plus. 

"I am happy to be able to play that way, just take it match by match, approach each individual match with the same intensity and energy - I'm really focused for Sunday."

Rublev has won three of his six career meetings with Tsitsipas and one of their two battles on clay.

Tsitsipas will be competing in his third Masters final, having lost to Nadal and Djokovic in his two previous appearances, the last of which came two years ago in Madrid.

Overall, Tsitsipas has won just five of his 13 ATP finals.

Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the Monte Carlo Masters as Andrey Rublev completed a superb 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory in their quarter-final clash.

Nadal went into the meeting with a 73-5 record at the event but Russian Rublev was in inspired form to stun his Spanish opponent.

The 11-time champion looked set to complete a trademark comeback after taking a 74-minute second set, yet Rublev held firm in the decider to claim a memorable victory after two hours and 33 minutes on court.

"I cannot imagine being in the situation of Rafa, knowing that you are the best player on clay and you have that pressure every time," Rublev said, according to the ATP Tour website.

"I think for him it must be incredibly tough every time. I am in shock [with] the way he is playing under this pressure and that is why he is a legend."

Rublev will face Casper Ruud in Saturday's semi-final after he overcame defending champion Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3.

Dan Evans followed up his superb victory over Novak Djokovic on Thursday with a slender win over David Goffin to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final.

World number 33 Evans, who had come into the tournament having lost his previous 10 matches on clay, overcame Goffin 5-7 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 42 minutes.

"I am proud of how I came back today, especially with what happened in the first set," he said after the match.

"I felt my concentration wasn't great and I am really happy with coming through. Yesterday would not have been worth it with a bad performance today."

Evans will face Stefanos Tsitsipas, who progressed when opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina retired injured in their quarter-final.

Spaniard Davidovich Fokina did not return for the second set after earlier receiving treatment during the first, which Tsitsipas won 7-5.

Novak Djokovic admitted he played an "awful" match against Dan Evans at the Monte Carlo Masters as Rafael Nadal advanced with ease to the quarter-finals.

World number one Djokovic, playing in his first tournament since winning a ninth Australian Open in February, suffered his first defeat of 2021 on Thursday.

Evans, who had never before reached the last eight of a Masters 1000 tournament, won 6-4 7-5 with a performance that belied his relative lack of success on clay.

The 30-year-old Briton will now meet David Goffin, who surprised fifth seed Alexander Zverev 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

"To be honest, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years," said Djokovic. "I don't want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It's one of those days."

Saying he felt "completely the opposite" to Wednesday's win over Jannik Sinner, Djokovic added: "Just was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kinds of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He's very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game."

Eleven-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal had no such problems in his match as he dismissed Grigor Dimitrov 6-1 6-1 in 55 minutes.

Nadal, who boasts a 14-1 career record against the Bulgarian, did not face a break point in either set against his off-colour opponent.

Dimitrov started the match with three double faults in his opening service game and was 4-0 down in each set.

"[I am] sorry for him. He played a bad match. That is the truth," said Spaniard Nadal. "He made a lot of mistakes. I was there. I was doing the right thing, but it is true that today was more his fault than my good tennis."

Nadal will face Andrey Rublev after the Russian battled past Roberto Bautista-Agut 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-4, will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina next, while Fabio Fognini's straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic set up a meeting with Casper Ruud.

Dan Evans produced a stunning victory over Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters, revealing the world number one had irritated him before the match even began.

A 6-4 7-5 victory for 33rd-ranked Evans in his first career clash with Djokovic carried the Briton through to his first Masters 1000 quarter-final and inflicted a first defeat of 2021 on his opponent.

The seeds of the upset were planted before the players hit the court, Evans later revealed, with the 30-year-old having been irked at having to wait for Djokovic in the locker room.

Top seed Djokovic was playing his first tournament since winning the Australian Open in February, for his 18th grand slam title, and he found it tough against a player who has previously enjoyed little success on clay.

"I thought I did a good job to get out of my service games. He had so many break points but didn't take them, so I was a little lucky there," Evans told Amazon Prime.

"I ran around the first second serve I got, to tell him I'm not going to just stand back and rally, I'm going to try to hit his second serve a little, and I got a few doubles out there."

Djokovic served four double faults, with Evans setting the tone for the match by surging 3-0 ahead early in the opening set.

"He kept me waiting at the start of the match in the changing rooms a little bit, so it was a little annoying," Evans said. "I was ready to go from that, so that got me a little extra fired up."

Rather than being intimidated by the presence of Djokovic on the other side of the net, Evans indicated he treated the Serbian like just another opponent, there to be beaten.

"That's why we roll the balls out, it's one against one and we've got to see who wins," Evans said.

"He gave me some cheap ones today which he never normally does, so I was a little lucky there, but I'm just really happy with coming through."

Evans' win was hailed by former British number one Tim Henman, who said: "He played fantastic tennis. In difficult conditions, he was the one that really dealt with it so well.

"Those first three games where he got up a double break, that probably changed his mindset. It increased his belief and Djokovic was frustrated, but in so many critical moments it was Evans who came up with the great tennis.

"It's an unbelievable achievement. Evans has won so few matches on clay so to beat the world number one, it's an amazing win."

Rafael Nadal's bid to win a 12th Monte Carlo Masters title got off to an emphatic start as the Spaniard swept Federico Delbonis aside after Novak Djokovic had also booked his passage to the third round.

Nadal, 34, has won the competition more times than anyone else in its history and looked in good shape as he returned to the court for the first time since losing to Stefano Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarter-finals on February 17.

He needed just 81 minutes to get past the Argentinian qualifier 6-1 6-2 as he improved his record in the tournament to 72-5, breaking Delbonis' serve five times and only dropping his own once.

He is not getting carried away, however, with Grigor Dimitrov likely to provide a sterner test in the next round after beating Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

"It was solid match, I think. Of course, a very positive result. He's a good player on clay. [It was a] positive start for me," Nadal said in his post-match interview.

"I think I just really played a solid match. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing wrong. Just a solid match, a positive start. I think I did what I had to do."

On Dimitrov, Nadal added: "We've had some great matches. In Melbourne, of course... we played another great match in Beijing, another one in Shanghai. He's a good friend, a good guy, and a great player. It's going to be a tough test in my second round.

"It's going to be his third. I need to be ready for it. I hope to be ready for it. I am just excited to play a tough match very early in the tournament."

A little earlier in the day, world number one Djokovic was in a similarly unforgiving mood as he overcame the potentially tricky obstacle of Jannik Sinner, the Serbian and two-time Monte Carlo champion winning 6-4 6-2.

Like Nadal, Djokovic was back in action for the first time since the Australian Open – which he won – and appeared fresh as he gave the promising young Italian something of a lesson in game management, reaching 10 matches unbeaten at the start of a season for the sixth time.

"It feels great [to be back and] also playing in Monaco, where I reside," Djokovic said. "I have used this club as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home."

Despite the rather commanding nature of his win, Djokovic was keen to pay tribute to the 19-year-old Sinner, adding: "It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.

"He has got a lot of talent and he has proven that he is the future of our sport. Actually, he is already the present of our sport. He played a final [in an] ATP Masters 1000 [tournament] already. He is making big strides in professional tennis."

Dan Evans awaits Djokovic after an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, while Alexander Zverez and Andrey Rublev – the fifth and sixth seeds – moved into the next round with respective straight-set victories over Lorenzo Sonego and Salvatore Caruso.

There were mixed fortunes for the other two top-10 seeds in action on Wednesday, as Pablo Carreno-Busta defeated Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-3, but Diego Schwartzman was sent packing by Casper Ruud, the Norwegian winning 6-3 6-3.

Novak Djokovic will tackle teenage rising star Jannik Sinner for the first time in a tantalising clash of tennis generations on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters.

World number one Djokovic is returning to action this week, having taken time away from the tour since banking an 18th grand slam title by winning the Australian Open in February.

He received a first-round bye, but waiting for him in the last 32 is Sinner, who on Tuesday saw off 2017 Monte Carlo runner-up Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-4, again illustrating the 19-year-old Italian's great potential.

World number 22 Sinner is the only teenager ranked inside the top 80 in the men's game and is coming off his first run to a Masters final, at the Miami Open.

The switch from hard courts to clay is one that Sinner is having to deal with, and seeing off a specialist on the surface in round one represents an impressive start, although facing two-time former champion Djokovic will be a step up.

"It's always good for me to see what I can do on clay," Sinner said, quoted on the ATP website. "Obviously, I am not in the best form on clay now for the first week.

"But I think today was a solid match from my side. It was not easy. He's not giving [away] one point, so you have to stay there the whole match. I think I played a good match from my side."

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the last 16 with a 6-3 6-4 win over Russian Aslan Karatsev, but there was disappointment at the same stage for Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, beaten 7-5 6-3 by Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Those were the only second-round matches of the day.

Surprise Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz made a winning start, battling to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 first-round success against Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano to reach round two.

Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov, Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini each booked places in round two thanks to straight-sets wins.

Qualifier Federico Delbonis was a 7-5 6-1 victor over France's Adrian Mannarino, meaning the Argentinian faces the ultimate test in clay-court tennis next, a tussle with Rafael Nadal, the 11-time former champion in Monte Carlo.

Nadal has won all four of their previous matches, and their fifth encounter will immediately follow the Djokovic-Sinner match on Wednesday.

World number two Daniil Medvedev has pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters after returning a positive coronavirus test.

The Russian, who was given a bye for the first round, went into isolation after returning a positive test on Monday.

"It's a big disappointment not to play in Monte Carlo," he said in a statement. "My focus is now on recovery and I look forward to getting back out on Tour as soon and as safely as possible."

Medvedev, who lost the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic in January, had been practising with 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal on Monday.

The 25-year-old last played at the Miami Open at the end of March, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Rain curtailed much of Monday's schedule at the Monte Carlo Masters but it could not prevent Aslan Karatsev from continuing his hugely impressive start to the season.

Karatsev, a surprise Australian Open semi-finalist and a champion in Dubai last month, overcame Lorenzo Musetti, the Italian teenager who was a semi-finalist in Acapulco in March, in straight sets after a four-hour rain delay.

He went into that interruption with a 4-3 lead in the first set and duly polished off the next two games on his return to the court.

The Russian sent down 23 winners as he completed a 6-3 6-4 win in 88 minutes, his last a cross-court backhand that set up a second-round meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"It was a really tough match [for] my first match of the season on clay [with] tough weather conditions," said Karatsev.

"We started in the morning [and] I started pretty well, I broke him and then the court was getting heavy, the ball was heavy.

"It is tough to play against him. [He is] really fit, [he] runs a lot and gives everything back, so you have to build the point by yourself and close the point by yourself."

There were mixed fortunes for Australians Alex de Minaur and John Millman in Monaco.

De Minaur went down to a surprise straight-sets defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina but Millman broke Ugo Humbert four times in a 6-3 6-3 win.

Next for Millman is either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Cristian Garin, whose first-round contest was among those unable to finish because of the inclement weather on the Cote d'Azur.

Tommy Paul also progressed to the next round, with five matches on court when play was cancelled for the day.

David Goffin made an encouraging start to the Monte Carlo Masters as he beat Marin Cilic, though Jordan Thompson found things much harder against Benoit Paire.

World number 14 Goffin had lost his previous three matches heading to Monaco, but the Belgian delivered a sharp performance on Sunday, winning 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Open Sud de France champion Goffin did not start well, and had to come from 3-0 down in the first set, but Cilic made 52 unforced errors to help his opponent progress.

"It’s a good win. [This is my] first tournament on clay [in 2021]. Starting with a victory is good," said 2017 Monte Carlo semi-finalist Goffin, quoted on the ATP website.

"I did what I needed to do to win that match. I was playing better and better. In the first and second set, I had problems with the returns. In the third set, I was more consistent. It was a good match."

Goffin will face Marco Cecchinato or Dominik Koepfer in the second round, where he has been joined by Australian Jordan Thompson.

Thompson, the world number 62, needed three hours and two tie-breaks to beat Paire 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5), as the Frenchman's dismal string of results in 2021 continued.

Paire has now won just one of 10 matches this calendar year, while Thompson registered a fifth win of the season.

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