Madrid, Spain, 28 April 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Chris O’Connell has continued his impressive clay-court form to move into the second round at the Madrid Masters.

The 28-year-old from Sydney recorded a 6-4 6-7(2) 6-2 victory against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in the opening round.

O’Connell’s growing confidence showed in the two-hour and 19-minute battle, firing 15 aces against the former top-30 player.

Despite being unable to convert multiple match points in the second set, O’Connell finished strongly to record his first win at ATP Masters 1000 level on clay.

This improves the world No.81’s overall clay-court record this season to nine wins from 12 matches.

O’Connell, who advanced to his first tour-level semifinal on clay last week, is now set to face eighth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in the second round.

Jason Kubler’s campaign ended in the first round however, with Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic posting a 6-3 6-3 victory.

It is a sixth consecutive win for red-hot world No.40 Dusan Lajovic, who defeated both world No.1 Novak Djokovic and world No.6 Andrey Rublev during a title-winning run in Banja Luka last week.

In men’s doubles action, Matt Ebden and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna made a winning start. The seventh seeds scored a 6-3 7-6(4) victory against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Brit Dan Evans in the opening round.

The 35-year-old Ebden is competing in Madrid for only the second time in his career – and for the first since 2012.

Aussies in action – Madrid

Men’s singles, first round
Chris O’Connell (AUS) d Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-4 6-7(2) 6-2
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) d Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-3 6-3

Men’s doubles, first round
[7] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) d Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)/Dan Evans (GBR) 6-3 7-6(4)
Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Jackson Withrow (USA) d Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 7-6(6) 7-6(5)

Men’s singles, second round
[16] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA)
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [8] Taylor Fritz (USA)

> VIEW: Full Madrid men’s singles draw

Women’s doubles, first round
[4] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v Daria Kasatkina/Martina Trevisan (ITA)
[5] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v Miyu Kato (JPN)/Aldila Sutjiadi (IDN)

> VIEW: Full Madrid women’s doubles draw

Men’s doubles, first round
Jason Kubler (AUS)/Sebastian Baez (ARG) v [5] Nikola Mektic (CRO)/Mate Pavic (CRO)

Men’s doubles, second round
[7] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Marcelo Melo (BRA)/Alexander Zverev (GER)

> VIEW: Full Madrid men’s doubles draw

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