(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Top-seeded Kei Nishikori began the defense of his Barcelona Open title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia on Tuesday.
Nicolas Almagro also advanced to the second round, where he will face eight-time winner Rafael Nadal, after opponent Paolo Lorenzi retired 10 minutes into the match with Almagro leading 3-0. Last year, Almagro stunned Nadal in the quarterfinals, ending Nadal's run of 41 straight wins at the tournament.
Nishikori hit 22 winners and held his serve to win the second-round match on the outdoor clay court in one hour, eight minutes.