Rafael Nadal's chances of winning an 11th Barcelona Open title were markedly improved by the exits of Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori, although Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov progressed to round three on Wednesday.
World number one Nadal was tested by Spanish compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena, but – playing on the court named in his honour – he ultimately recorded a comfortable 6-4 6-4 win.
Nadal consequently extended the record for most consecutive sets won on clay to 38, and will next meet Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who went through after Nishikori withdrew.
The Japanese – a losing finalist to Nadal in Monte Carlo last week – lost the first set 6-3 and later said he had "pain in three different parts of my body while warming up", the biggest of which was in his right calf.
Djokovic's disappointing 2018 continued in a 6-2 1-6 6-3 loss to Martin Klizan, the 12-time major winner having been a late addition to the draw following a round-three loss to Thiem in Monte Carlo.
There was better news for Thiem, a finalist in Barcelona a year ago, who saved set point in the opener en route to a 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 victory over Spanish wildcard Jaume Munar.
ATP Finals victor Grigor Dimitrov, who reached the Monte Carlo semi-finals, was in sublime form in his 6-2- 6-1 win over Gilles Simon.
Jozef Kovalik, Albert Ramos Vinolas, Pablo Carreno-Busta, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Pablo Andujar were also among Wednesday's round-two winners.
At the Hungarian Open, third seed Richard Gasquet was shocked 6-4 7-6 (7-4) by world number 159 Lorenzo Sonego, while Damir Dzumhur (2) also suffered an early exit in a 6-3 6-1 loss to Marco Cecchinato.
Aljaz Bedene and Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Bublik respectively to reach round three.
Mikhail Youzhny moved to within three wins of 500 ATP victories having completed a 6-3 6-3 triumph over Tour debutant Zsombor Piros in a first-round contest held over from Tuesday.
20 de mayo 2018
|Green: Warriors play best when we feel threatened|
|Daredevils dump out defending IPL champions Mumbai|
|Fan shows off Monk face tattoo on bottom|
|Bayern Munich chief Hoeness rules out spending spree|
|Fury to take on Albanian Seferi in Manchester next month|
|Mourinho mind games won´t distract from Manchester United´s paused progress|
|My motivation is intact - Ranieri open to offers following Nantes exit|
|Shields would probably have made All Blacks squad - Hansen|
|Willian fuels rift talk by hiding Conte with emojis in cup photo|
|Marquez extends lead at Le Mans as Dovizioso crashes again|
|Top-six mentality a boost to England´s World Cup hopes – Southgate|
|Dominant Svitolina retains in Rome as Halep sustains injury scare|
|I´d play for free! - Fifita desperate for State of Origin call-up|
|Plea satisfied with Nice exit as big changes beckon|
|Boateng open to leaving Bayern for move abroad|
|Napoli slam ´shameful and offensive´ Juventus celebrations|
|Red Star´s open-top bus goes up in flames|
|Klopp rejects Liverpool´s Champions League final underdogs tag|
|Root trusts batting form to ´click´ for England|
|Matic wants Man Utd to back Mourinho in transfer market|
|Walker out with eye socket fracture following Melbourne-Manly brawl|
|Don´t try it at home! - LeBron wows with game three passing|
|Dragons restore two-point lead, Sharks battle past Bulldogs|
|Any club would want Buffon, says PSG president|
|Villarreal renew Calleja contract after Europa League qualification|
|Talisca heading to Premier League, hints Besiktas boss|
|Celtics ´needed to get our butts whooped´ by Cavs, says Rozier|
|Bayern should have had a penalty, admits Boateng|
|NBA great Bill Russell released from hospital|
|When I play I´m Luca, not Zidane – Zinedine´s son distances himself from father|
|Barzagli: Buffon the greatest of all time|
|Indians ace Kluber becomes first in AL to seven wins|
|MLS Review: Two-goal Villa inspires NYC rout, Timbers stay hot|
|Kuznetsov sets Capitals´ playoff points record|
|Stevenson-Jack showdown ends in majority draw|
|Galatasaray win 21st Turkish title on final day|
|Cavaliers rout Celtics to cut series deficit to 2-1|
|Harvick holds off Suarez to win All-Star race and $1m|
|All Blacks name three new faces for France Tests|
|Mo Salah 15 years behind Cristiano Ronaldo – Klopp|
|Jaguares extend winning streak with Bulls thrashing|
|Nobody is bigger than PSG, says Al-Khelaifi amid doubts over Neymar|
|Warrington targets Frampton after Selby upset|
|Zidane says Real Madrid are ready for Champions League final|
|Heynckes: Bayern aren´t bad losers after DFB-Pokal snub|
|Everything was positive - Emery leaves PSG satisfied|
|Wise, Leishman tied for Byron Nelson lead|
|Torres, Iniesta share gift of good decisions - Simeone|
|Arrivederci Buffon - The Juventus´ greats remarkable career in numbers|
|Favre leaves Nice as Dortmund post awaits|
|´Extraordinary´ Juventus deserved Serie A title - Allegri|
|Warrington upsets bloodied Selby to secure world title|
|Sweden batter USA, Swiss roll on to gold medal match|
|Zverev battles past Cilic to extend winning streak|
|It was a penalty - Kovac acknowledges Frankfurt´s good fortune ahead of Bayern move|
|Ligue 1: Depay fires Lyon into Champions League as Troyes go down|
19 de mayo 2018
|Tigers tear Rhinos to shreds as Saints stay clear at the summit|
|Mourinho criticises Chelsea long-ball tactics in FA Cup final|
|Caen 0 Paris Saint-Germain 0: Stalemate closes Emery tenure as Caen survive|
|Villarreal 2 Real Madrid 2: Luca´s debut misjudgement costs Los Blancos|
|Conte reaffirms Chelsea commitment and hints at Italy offer|
|Leicester agree €20m deal for Porto´s Pereira|
|Bayern Munich 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 3: Controversial Kovac win denies new club double delight|
|I am a serial winner, Conte declares after Chelsea´s FA Cup glory|
|Courtois delighted to dispel doubts with FA Cup triumph|
|FA Cup win was to save Chelsea season - Cahill|
|Brilliant Hazard ensures Conte´s serial-winner status remains intact|
|Knight Riders cruise into the IPL play-offs|
|Mourinho: I can imagine what people would say if my team played like Chelsea|
|Mourinho: Lukaku chose not to start FA Cup final|