Cameron Norrie enjoyed a fine debut on the clay courts of Monte Carlo as he defeated seasoned Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets.
The British No. 2 triumphed 6-4 6-3 over the world No. 58 to win his first clay-court match of the season on what was his first visit to this Masters 1000 event.
There are high hopes for Norrie on the clay – a surface which is well suited to his game – and he is Britains only remaining hope in the singles draw here following Kyle Edmunds disappointing defeat on Tuesday.
Asked what he made of his surroundings, he quipped: Its not bad at all. Its pretty solid. You cant eat anything very cheaply here, but thats the only downside for me.
Yeah, its very nice. I like the conditions here. Its not very – everything is kind of on top of each other. Its pretty sick kind of playing tennis on the side of a mountain with a water view. I definitely do like it.
It definitely felt a little bit more familiar for me coming here for the first time. And I think the conditions today felt a little bit like Marbella. Its kind of slower, heavier, both places by the water. It kind of felt very similar. I think I do play well when its a bit heavier like that. Didnt miss too many rally balls today, which was nice.
Norrie also confirmed hed added a physical trainer to his ranks, bringing Vasek Jursik on board.
Jursik has previously worked with Thanasi Kokkinakis and Angelique Kerber, while previously being based at the Mouratoglou Academy.
Norrie, who faces Hungarys Marton Fucsovics next, was joined in the second round by Canadas Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The 18-year-old, who spoke impressively on Tuesday at an intimate media gathering, will meet Alexander Zverev for the first time.
Auger-Aliassime – who defeated Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5 7-6 (7-5) – is expected to be a serious threat on the dirt but this will be a stiff test of his capabilities.
Zverev, the world No. 3, has impressed on clay in the past and rates it as his favourite surface, although his best form is yet to arrive in 2019.
The German is more than aware of Auger-Aliassimes talents and hailed him as a future Grand Slam champion.
Hes been one of the best young guys on Tour this year. He made the semis in Miami, made the final in Rio, Zverev said. Im very happy for him because hes one of the most humble and nicest guys that I know.
He always walks around, even when he was younger, hes still young but when he was just starting and the first few times that everybody saw him on the Tour he was always very polite and always very positive.