BARCELONA, SPAIN - Rising Canadian Milos Raonic was a straight-set first-round victor Monday at the $2.135 million Barcelona Open.
The 11th-seeded Raonic handled Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) on the red clay at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. The world No. 25 fired seven aces and was broken only once on Day 1.
Raonic has already reached three finals this year, including a pair of titles.
A mild upset came when Colombian Santiago Giraldo grounded 18th-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen moved on with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Spanish wild card Javier Marti.
Additional Day-1 wins came for Dutchman Robin Haase, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic, Belgian Steve Darcis, France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Benoit Paire, and Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa. Darcis will face 2010 Barcelona champ Fernando Verdasco in the round of 32.
This week's top seeds are last week's Monte Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and David Ferrer. Murray will open up against Stakhovsky, while Ferrer's second-round opponent will be Krajinovic.
Nadal has won six of the last seven titles here and topped the three-time runner-up Ferrer in last year's all-Spanish finale in Barcelona. Ferrer has been the runner-up here in three of the last four years.
This week's big winner will collect $398,000.