Nishikori rolls to begin title defense

(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.

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2015 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 13,845
2 R. Federer 8,385
3 A. Murray 6,060
4 R. Nadal 5,435
5 K. Nishikori 5,280
6 M. Raonic 5,070
7 T. Berdych 4,960
8 D. Ferrer 4,490
9 M. Cilic 3,495
10 S. Wawrinka 3,495
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2015 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 S. Williams 9,981
2 M. Sharapova 7,890
3 S. Halep 7,571
4 P. Kvitova 6,060
5 C. Wozniacki 4,675
6 A. Ivanovic 4,200
7 E. Bouchard 4,122
8 E. Makarova 3,420
9 A. Radwanska 3,385
10 C. Suarez Navarro 3,335
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