The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open men’s qualifiers got underway on Friday with a number of interesting clashes. From young players in search of their first opportunity at the Spanish ATP Masters 1000 to experienced tour veterans, the goal is still the same; to feel the rush of playing in one of the world’s largest clay tournaments.
Carlos Taberner provided the longest match of the day, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2, against the Australian Jordan Thompson at two hours and 46 minutes, giving him his first ever win at an ATP Masters 1000.
The Valencian will be hoping to maintain his momentum to earn himself a place among the world’s top 150 players. His opponent for a place in the main draw will be the Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
The Carrara native was one of the most recognisable faces of the day. At 19 years of age, the youngest player in the world’s Top 100 cleared his first hurdle by beating Moldovan player Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3. On his first visit to the Caja Mágica the Italian player will be bidding to continue his meteoric rise.
Together with his compatriot Jannik Sinner, the player from Tuscany is one of the most promising on the ATP Tour. The significant weight of expectation of Italian fans largely rests on his shoulders and there are plenty of eyes on him this week.
Roberto Carballés also managed to take a step towards the main draw. The man from Tenerife opened the day’s play in the Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Stadium, easing past Fin Emil Ruusuvuori, 6-2, 6-3. Weeks after winning the Challenger event in Belgrade, the Spaniard is looking to capitalise on his current clay form.
It was a different story for US player Frances Tiafoe. The fifth seed, one of the most experienced players in the qualies, was beaten 7-6(4), 6-2 by the Italian Marcos Cecchinato.
Other results from the first round of the ATP qualifiers:
 Yoshihito Nishioka d. Pablo Cuevas (6-4, 6-4)
Gianluca Mager d. Egor Gerasimov (6-4, 6-3)
Marcos Giron d.  Thiago Monteiro (6-4, 6-7(12), 7-6(4))
Pierre-Hugues Herbert d.  Tennys Sandgren (6-3, 6-2)
Juan Ignacio Londero d.  Laslo Djere (6-3, 3-6, 6-2)
Click here to see the draw for the men’s qualifiers.