World number two, Carlos Alcaraz, had a smooth start to the China Open as he secured a 6-4, 6-3 victory over qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.
Although both players initially struggled to hold their serves, Alcaraz managed to secure the pivotal break and claim the first set with an impressive ace.
The young Spanish sensation found his groove in the second set, breaking Hanfmann's serve in the third game and sealing the match as the German hit a forehand return into the net. Alcaraz's next challenge in the tournament will be Italy's Lorenzo Musetti.
Reflecting on his performance, Alcaraz expressed satisfaction with his play, particularly his improved serving towards the end of the match. He emphasised his confidence in his movement and overall performance.
In another match, world number three Daniil Medvedev cruised through the first round with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tommy Paul. Medvedev seized control of the match by breaking Paul's serve decisively in the fourth game of the opening set. He continued to dominate, using powerful serves and forehands to secure an easy win. His next opponent will be Alex De Minaur.
Holger Rune, ranked fourth in the world, defeated Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4, setting up a second-round clash with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
However, Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas faced an unexpected setback, falling to a 6-4 defeat against Chilean Nicolas Jarry, ranked 23rd in the world.
This year's China Open marks a significant return, as it is the first edition since 2019, following Beijing's adjustment of its strict COVID-19 policy. Notably, all top-eight-ranked men are participating, with the exception of world number one Novak Djokovic, who opted to skip the China leg of the tour this year.