They may have taken different routes to get there, but Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori are both safely through to the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Japanese star Nishikori was made to work very hard for his 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over the talented Fabio Fognini.
While he quickly raced into a 4-0 lead and took the first set very comfortably, Nishikori found himself on the receiving end of a Fognini fightback soon after.
The Italian tightened up on serve and claimed the decisive break in game eight to level the scores at a set apiece, before claiming another break in the deciding third set as he looked on course for the comeback win.
But Fognini couldn’t finish the job. Serving for the match at 5-4, he coughed up three break points, with Nishikori snaffling the third to level the scores at 5-5 before going on to claim another break to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Next up for Nishikori is 10th seed Richard Gasquet.
Top seed Djokovic enjoyed much more serene progress against Croatian Borna Coric, breaking serve three times on the way to a 6-2, 6-4 win.
— Mutua Madrid Open (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 4, 2016
It was only the Serb’s second clay court match of the season, following a shock loss to Jiri Vesely at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
Others to advance on Wednesday included Portugal’s Joao Sousa and American Sam Querrey, while the likes of Juan Martin Del Potro, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are due in action later in the evening.
Earlier in the day, Nick Kyrgios was responsible for a noteable upset, knocking out fourth seed Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-2).