Barcelona, Spain – Talented Latvian Ernests Gulbis and former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko were among the Day-1 winners at the $2.23 million Barcelona Open tennis event.
The qualifier Gulbis handled Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, while the Russian Davydenko took care of Spanish wild card Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-4 on the red clay at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona.
Meanwhile, resurgent Russian Dmitry Tursunov doused Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-4, Spanish wild card Albert Montanes blitzed Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-3 and Spain's Pablo Andujar held off Slovenian Grega Zemlja 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. The qualifier Tursunov is rewarded with a second- round match against top-seeded Spanish star David Ferrer, who is a four-time Barcelona Open runner-up.
This week's second seed is Spanish hero Rafael Nadal, who is the two-time reigning and seven-time overall Barcelona champion. Nadal, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters final this past weekend, topped Ferrer in the last two all-Spanish Barcelona finales.
Additional wins on Monday came for Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, Croat Ivan Dodig, Italian Paolo Lorenzi, Spanish qualifier Guillermo Olaso and Spanish wild card Pablo Carreno-Busta.
The first round will conclude and the second round will get underway on Tuesday, including a quality matchup between third-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and Davydenko.