Moscow - Spanish fifth seed Roberto Bautista-Agut has advanced to the second round of the Kremlin Cup on Monday thanks to a straight-sets victory over Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.
At the ATP and WTA combined event in the Russian capital, Bautista-Agut, who suffered an opening round defeat in his maiden appearance in 2012, won 6-3, 6-4 in his first meeting against Kuznetsov to keep alive his slim chances of making it into the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"I feel good as I think I've played a solid match. I returned well and also served well tonight," said world number 16 Bautista-Agut.
"I have a lot of confidence after performing well in Shanghai and I'm looking forward to the next match here."
Meanwhile, Italy's eighth seed and 2012 winner Andreas Seppi reached the second round as he disposed of Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-4.
"It was a good start, a good first-round win for me and I'm happy about today's performance." Seppi said.
"I have nice memories about my past experiences in Moscow after winning a title two years ago and being in the semi-finals last year."
In the women's event, two-time Grand Slam champion and fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, barely broke sweat as she cruised into the next round when Czech Republic's Klara Koukalova retired after losing the first set 6-1.
The 29-year-old Russian, currently 26th in the world, looked in complete command from the start and broke twice to take the opening frame in 30 minutes.
After that the Czech veteran Koukalova, 32, retired blaming a viral illness for her withdrawal.
"It wasn't bad at all to play a short match today," Kuznetsova said.
"I always prefer to start the tournament from the very beginning as when you have an opening round bye it's sometimes hard to play against an opponent who has already adjusted to the surface and the arena."
Results from the first day of the ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup on Monday (x denotes seeding):
Andreas Seppi (ITA x8) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 7-5, 6-4
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-4, 6-2
Roberto Bautista (ESP x5) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-3, 6-4
Daniel Gimeno (ESP) bt Jir Vesel (CZE) 7-5, 6-3
Irina Begu (ROM) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x5) bt Klara Koukalova (CZE) 6-1, 0-0 abandon
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-2, 6-2