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Ben Shelton advances at Barcelona Open

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2023 - Day One

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17: Ben Shelton of the United States celebrates a point against Mackenzie McDonald of the United States during day one of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell at Real Club De Tenis Barcelona on April 17, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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BARCELONA, Spain -- Ben Shelton reached the second round of the Barcelona Open by beating Mackenzie McDonald 7-5, 6-4.

The 20-year-old American converted five of his six break points against McDonald. Shelton, who is ranked 37th in the world, is making his first career appearances in clay-court tournaments. He lost in the first round in Monte Carlo and in the second round in Estoril.

Shelton will next face third-seeded Casper Ruud, who he defeated last year in Cincinnati as a relatively unknown college player.

“Different surface, different circumstances,” Shelton said. “I don’t think he had any idea who I was the last time I played him, and I know he knows me now. I assume that he’ll be more prepared for some of my things I’m going to throw at him and I’m really excited for that matchup.”

Bernabe Zapata Miralles defeated Attila Balazs 6-2, 6-2 to set up an all-Spanish second-round meeting with 13th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut. Emil Ruusuvuori beat Alexander Bublik 6-0, 6-3 and will next play fifth-seeded Frances Tiafoe.

Other players who advanced included Nicolas Jerry of Chile, Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina and Nuno Borges of Portugal. Borges will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in the next round.