World no 9 Dominic Thiem and world no 10 David Goffin joined Andy Murray in bookeing their places in the Madrid Open third round.
On a packed day of action at the Caja Majica, the big names had little trouble in advancing with Thiem and Goffin joining the world no 1 in becoming the first three names through to the last 16.
Monte Carlo semi-finalist Goffin was the first man through on Tuesday afternoon, beating Florian Mayer in straight sets to advance to a possible meeting with Milos Raonic.
The Belgian needed a tie-break to claim the opener before racing through the second for a 7-6 6-0 triumph and he will await the winner of Raonic-Gilles Muller.
Muller overcame German veteran Tommy Haas on Tuesday 6-4 7-6 and will now face Raonic in the second round on Wednesday as the Canadian joins Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka in getting their tournament underway.
Also through to the third round is Thiem, the Austrian is waiting for his breakthrough at 1000 level having never gone beyond the quarter-final of a Masters tournament.
But fresh from finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona the 23-year-old had little trouble in getting off to a winning start against American lucky loser Jared Donaldson, losing just seven games on route to a last 16 meeting with either Grigor Dimitrov or Ivo Karlovic.
Alexander Zverev, a winner in Munich at the BMW Open last week, was too strong for Fernando Verdasco in the final first round match of the men’s draw.
The German triumphed 7-5 6-3 and will face Marin Cilic in a mouthwatering second encounter. Cilic was the champion in Istanbul on Sunday and with both men in form it promises to be one of Wednesday’s highlights.
In-form Argentine Diego Schwartzmann was another man in a hurry on Tuesday, the world number 40 was a quarter-finalist in Monte Carlo and a semi-finalist in Istanbul last week and is a huge threat on the red dirt – he next faces Kei Nishikori.
The 24-year-old was too strong for another man enjoying a good run on the clay courts. Albert Ramos Vinolas may have reached the Monte Carlo final but he won just four games against Schwartzmann and was one of five Spaniards to lose on the day.
Tommy Robredo was another to fall going down to the day’s only Spanish winner as Nicolas Almagro won their first round encounter in three sets, coming through 6-1 3-6 6-1 to set up a meeting with world no 2 Djokovic.
The struggles of Australia’s Bernard Tomic also continue despite hinting at a return to form with a run to the quarter-finals in Istanbul last week he was beaten in three sets by America’s Ryan Harrison.
Sky Sports coverage of the Mutua Madrid Open continues on Wednesday from 11am on Sky Sports 1