Vina del Mar, Chile (Sports Network) - Last year's runner-up Carlos Berlocq was an easy first-round winner Tuesday at the $410,000 VTR Open.
The eighth-seeded Berlocq blew past Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-1 on the red clay at Club Naval de Campo Las Salinas.
Berlocq lost to Juan Monaco in last year's all-Argentine Vina del Mar finale.
Also on Tuesday, Frenchman Guillaume Rufin handled Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-3, 6-4, Chilean teenage wild card Christian Garin doused Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, and former world No. 5 and 2011 VTR Open titlist Tommy Robredo drilled fellow Spaniard Pere Riba 6-2, 6-2. Garin is a 16-year-old making his ATP World Tour debut this week. Rufin will face the reigning champion Monaco in the round of 16.
The top seeds here are former world No. 1 star Rafael Nadal and the reigning champion Monaco, who is Nadal's doubles partner this week. Both players received opening-round byes and will play a doubles match here on Tuesday.
Nadal will play his first tennis since last June after being sidelined with a knee injury. The Spanish great, who owns 11 Grand Slam titles, including a record seven French Open championships in the Open Era, will appear in a South American tournament for the first time since 2005, when he won a title in Brazil as an 18-year-old.
This week's winner will collect $74,000.