It was a good day for the men’s contingent in Madrid with John Millman earning his first top-20 victory since early 2020.
Alexei Popyrin defeated last week’s runner-up in Munich and Alex de Minaur advanced to the third round as he won his first back-to-back wins since the Australian Open.
Millman defeated world no. 16 Hubert Hurkacz 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-3 saving three match points along the way. Hurkacz had recently claimed the Miami Masters title.
The Australian world no. 42 had won their only previous ATP level meeting when he won in straight sets at the 2020 Australian Open.
Millman advances to a round 2 matchup against Great Britain’s Daniel Evans.
Popyrin the world no. 76 had made the main draw in Madrid through qualifying. He faced world no. 40 Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 7-6(4).
The German had last week lost in the final of the ATP 250 tournament in Munich, also on clay.
Next up for Popyrin is a round two clash with Italy’s Jannik Sinner the 14th seed.
de Minaur played his round two match against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. The South African has taken his ranking from no. 90 at the start of the year to a career high of no. 50 on 5 April.
Against de Minaur, Lloyd was forced to retire at 6-2 3-0 due to a back injury.
de Minaur faces a Dominic Thiem in the third round. Thiem could be a bit rusty after overcoming a knee injury.