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Lopez, Verdasco, Dimitrov Win Madrid Openers

Madrid, Spain

Verdasco © Getty ImagesFernando Verdasco defeats Andreas Seppi in his Madrid opener.

Spaniard Feliciano Lopez snapped a three-match losing streak on Monday, as he prevailed against Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2 in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open. He struck 18 aces and saved 13 of 14 break points faced to record victory in two hours and seven minutes.

“I think he was one the toughest players to play, on clay especially, because of his game,” Lopez said of this year’s Brasil Open champion. “He's a lefty and it's complicated for me because he plays completely different to others. I'm happy to have been able to finish the game this way and be in the tournament.”

Lopez next meets 15th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over German qualifier Benjamin Becker.

Two other Spaniards, Fernando Verdasco and Albert Ramos, reached the second round with straight-sets wins Monday. Verdasco closed out a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Italian Andreas Seppi, while wild card Ramos defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 7-6(7).

“Even if it was not my best match, at the end I’m happy I won,” said Verdasco, a Madrid native. “Hopefully tomorrow I’m going to have even better feelings and I will be more [consistent] the whole match.” The two-time Madrid quarter-finalist will play countryman Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the third round.

Watch Dimitrov Hot Shot

In a meeting between 22-year-old rising stars, No. 12 seed Grigor Dimitrov capitalised on four of his six break points to defeat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 6-4 in 70 minutes. Carreno Busta was named the 2013 Most Improved Player of the Year.

Dimitrov currently stands at a career-high No. 14 Emirates ATP Rankings after capturing his first clay-court title two weeks ago in Bucharest, and will look to extend his winning streak when he next plays Romanian wild card Marius Copil. The 23 year old knocked out Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4.

Roger Federer will open against Gilles Simon, who won the first two games when fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire retired from their first-round match due to knee pain. Federer holds a 4-2 lead in his FedEx Head2Head series against former World No. 6 Simon following two clay-court wins last year in Rome and Paris.

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