Rafael Nadal makes solid start in Madrid, but Juan Martin del Potro makes losing return

Rafael Nadal backhand

Rafael Nadal maintained his record of never having lost two consecutive matches on clay by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in his Madrid Masters opener.

All eyes were on Nadal after his uncharacteristic clay court struggles, but he was business-like against the impressive Canadian teenager.

It was a tight match, with Auger-Aliassime aggressive throughout, but Nadal came out on top 6-3, 6-3.

Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori fought his way past battling Bolivian Hugo Dellien 7-5, 7-5, and Frances Tiafoe edged out Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Stan Wawrinka also impressed again Guido Pella, whom he defeated 6-3, 6-4, but Juan Martin del Potro made a losing comeback, falling to Laslo Dere 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

Gael Monfils, meanwhile, recovered from a shocking first set to beat Marton Fucsovics 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 to set up a clash with Roger Federer.

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