Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Spanish crowd favorite Nicolas Almagro and Canadian slugger Milos Raonic were a pair of first-round winners Monday at the $4.425 million Madrid Open.
The 11th-seeded Almagro was leading Tobias Kamke 6-4 after one set when the German retired, while the 12th-seeded Raonic topped former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) at this clay-court Masters 1000 French Open tune-up.
Meanwhile, 14th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori whipped veteran Austrian left- hander Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2 and towering American John Isner dismissed Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) on Day 2 at The Magic Box.
In other opening-round play, German Florian Mayer defeated Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4; South African Kevin Anderson leveled Canadian Jesse Levine 6-2, 6-2; Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin drubbed Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-2; and Daniel Gimeno-Traver overcame fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Mayer is rewarded with a second-round match against 2008 Madrid champion Andy Murray.
The "Big Four" of 2011 titlist Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Murray and two-time winner Rafael Nadal are all on hand this week. The three- time Madrid winner Federer beat Czech slugger Tomas Berdych in last year's finale.