Borna Coric (CRO) vs.  Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
Coric toppled Almagro in what can only be described as a lackluster performance from Almagro. It’s perhaps understandable after his grueling victory over the weekend in Estoril. However, that is one of the factors that separates the great players from the good players: the ability to perform week in and week out at a high level. It is not only physically draining to do so, it is also extremely psychologically demanding to give a hundred percent every week. That is the reason why I admire Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal; they have consistently throughout their careers shown up for every match, except for the rare default due to injury.
Almagro without doubt is a very talented tennis player, like so many others, when he is motivated he can defeat the best; yet, the test for him and many others is to stay motivated. That mental strength that Federer and Nadal have been gifted with seems to be lacking in so many talented players. It’s somewhat counter intuitive; you would expect every player to be motivated every time they step on court or else, why bother? What is the reason why this is so common in the personality of so many people? Coric has that trait, he steps on court every time hungry and motivated to win, no matter his opponent. Today he did not have to do much and got the easy 6-2, 6-2 victory. Unfortunately, his second round opponent is Novak Djokovic.
UPDATE: Rafael Nadal (ESP) got his Madrid campaign off to a winning start; he defeated  Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-3, 6-3.