Carlos Moya overcame Arnaud Clement to win an error-strewn first-round match 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 here in the Barcelona Open yesterday.
The Spaniard, who recovered from recurring back injuries to win at Estoril earlier this month, had early breaks in the second and third sets only to let his French opponent back in with some careless play.
Clement then had two break points as Moya served at 4-4 in the final set but missed them both and was then broken himself for the fifth time, serving a double fault on match point.
The unseeded Moya will now face the top seed and world No 3 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the second round.
Moya's victory was matched by another Spanish success over French opposition as Juan Carlos Ferrero beat the 11th seed Nicolas Escude 6-4, 7-5.
His compatriot Sergio Bruguera, who is only at the event because of a wild card invitation, was a surprise 6-1, 6-1 winner over Switzerland's Roger Federer. Bruguera, twice winner of the French Open, has not won an ATP Tour event since 1994 and is now ranked outside the top 100.
Last year's losing finalist Morocco's Karim Alami battled his way through to the second round with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 win over Max Mirnyi of Belarus.
Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty, who lost in the final at Monte Carlo to Cedric Pioline on Sunday, drew on reserves of strength to beat Sweden's Nicklas Kulti 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.
Results from the $1 million Seat-Godo Barcelona Open:
Singles First Round
Juan Carlos Ferrero (Sp) def. Nicolas Escude (Fr) 6-4, 7-5. Hicham Arazi (Mor) def. Richard Fromberg (Aus) 6-3, 6-4. Rainer Schuttler (Ger) def. Guillermo Canas (Arg) 6-1, 3-0. Fernando Meligeni (Bra) def. Christophe Rochus (Bel) 6-4, 6-3. Sergi Bruguera (Sp) def. Roger Federer (Swit) 6-1, 6-1. Gaston Gaudio (Arg) def. Arnaud di Pasquale (Fr) 6-1, 6-3. Dominik Hrbaty (Slovak) def. Nicklas Kulti (Swe) 7-6 (1), 6-4. Karim Alami (Mor) def. Max Mirnyi (Bela) 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Fabrici Santoro (Fr) def. Galo Blanco (Sp) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Carlos Moya (Sp) def. Arnaud Clement (Fr) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Alberto Berasategui (Sp) def. Tommy Robredo (Sp) 6-1, 6-1. Marcelo Rios (Chile) def. Andrei Pavel (Rom) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (1).Reuse content