Barcelona - Milos Raonic took advantage of local support to record his first clay-court victory of the year, beating Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) in the first round of the Barcelona Open on Monday.
The Canadian, whose training base is at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, served seven aces in a closely contested match to win for the first time in a month.
Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat the only seeded player to lose, winning 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 against No 18 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Robin Haase of the Netherlands also won.
Rafael Nadal's bid for a seventh Barcelona title begins later this week. The second-ranked Spaniard won the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth straight time last week.
Results from the first day of the Barcelona Open on Monday (x denotes seeding):
Eduardo Schwank (ARG) bt Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
Federico Del Bonis (ARG) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-3, 7-5
Robin Haase (NED) bt Sergey Bubka Jr. (UKR) 6-1, 3-2 retired
Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5)
Milos Raonic (CAN x11) bt Alejandro Falla (COL) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Joao Sousa (POR) bt Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) bt Javier Marti (ESP) 6-4, 6-1
Santiago Giraldo (COL) bt Denis Istomin (UZB x18) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Benoit Paire (FRA) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-3, 7-5
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Inigo Cervantes (ESP) 6-2, 6-4
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Stephane Robert (FRA) 6-2, 6-3
Albert Montanes (ESP) bt Gerard Granollers-Pujol (ESP) 7-5, 6-2