Alcaraz starts Madrid Open defence with quick win

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz suffered an ankle injury in February before returning to defend his Indian Wells title in March [Getty Images]

Carlos Alcaraz started his Madrid Open title defence with a comfortable victory over Alexander Shevchenko.

World number three Alcaraz, 20, eased to a 6-2 6-1 win against Kazakhstan's Shevchenko.

The Wimbledon champion dominated throughout in a statement performance, with 23-year-old Shevchenko unable to match his pace and flair.

It was a welcome return to the clay for Spaniard Alcaraz after a right forearm injury caused him to withdraw from last week's Barcelona Open, although he was wearing a compression sleeve on his arm during the match.

After the victory, Alcaraz said he was not experiencing any discomfort in the arm but was not "feeling 100%" with his forehand.

"I'm thinking about it, it's not going to leave my mind," he said of the injury.

"Coming into this week, I've been doing good things in practice, hitting harder, but I'm not feeling comfortable playing my forehand 100%.

"But I think playing at this level, I'm really happy to do it. I still think I can be competitive."

Alcaraz will face Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild in the third round.

Elsewhere in the men's draw, Britain's Jack Draper suffered a 6-1 7-5 defeat by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

Draper, 22, started slowly and was punished by the world number nine, who clinched the first set with ease.

Draper fought back in the second but a double fault allowed Hurkacz to serve for the match and he wrapped up victory inside 77 minutes.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev made his way into the third round with a straight-set win over Facundo Bagnis, fourth seed Alexander Zverev beat Borna Coric 6-2 6-3, while Denmark's Holger Rune also progressed with victory over Mariano Navone.

In the women's draw, Britain's Katie Boulter lost 1-6 6-3 6-4 to American wildcard Robin Montgomery.

Meanwhile two-time Grand Slam champion Aryna Sabalenka earned a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Poland's Magda Linette, setting up a third-round meeting with Montgomery.

Kazakhstan's former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, fresh from beating Iga Swiatek on the way to last week's Stuttgart title, was a 6-4 6-3 winner against Italian Lucia Bronzetti.