Barcelona, Spain, 24 April 2013 | AAP/AFP

Australian Bernard Tomic started his Barcelona Open claycourt campaign on Tuesday with a hard-fought three-set victory over Kenny de Schepper.

In his first career match against the 25-year-old French qualifier, world No.47 Tomic prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-2 in their first-round match to book a clash with seventh seed Juan Monaco of Argentina.

It was an encouraging performance after Tomic’s opening-round exit last week at the Monte Carlo Masters at the hands of Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal will start his tournament against Carlos Berlocq after the Argentine beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5 6-4 to earn the right to face the second seed.

Nadal, the world No.5 who stands behind compatriot and three-time losing finalist David Ferrer in the seedings at the Real Club de Tenis, insists his focus is on this tournament and not his preparation for next month’s French Open at Roland Garros.

Having lost for the first time in 10 years at Monte Carlo on Sunday, in a final reverse against world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Nadal had said he needs to improve his physical condition ahead of a tilt at an eighth French Open crown.

But even so, his focus right now is merely on winning an eighth title in Catalonia.

“I play Barcelona, that’s my schedule. Roland Garros is very far (away),” said the 26-year-old.

“I will try my best now to play a very good week in Barcelona, it’s a tournament that I love.

“We have Barcelona, then we have Madrid, then we have Rome. I have enough time (before the French Open).”