Barcelona:Recovering from skin cancer, former champion Felix Mantilla made a winning start in his first ATP match in 18 months at his hometown Open Seat Godo on Monday.
Mantilla, the 1999 champion using a wild card entry, came back from a second-set dip to beat Uzbekistan qualifier Farrukh Dustov 6-4, 1-6, 6-0.
The 32-year-old Mantilla was diagnosed with skin cancer in December 2005 and missed all of 2006.
He qualified and won a round in a challenger in Italy this month, but he hadn't played in an ATP main draw since the 2005 US Open.
"This is special. I didn't expect it," he said.
"My level of tennis right now is not too high and to play my first ATP event in 18 months and get a win is a surprise for me. I'm really pleased about that because it means I can still enjoy some more time playing tennis and that is what I want," he added.
Fellow Spaniard Oscar Hernandez knocked out ninth-seeded Dmitry Tursunov of Russia 6-4, 6-4, and Andrei Pavel of Romania beat 10th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 .
The only other seed in action on the opening day, No 15 Agustin Calleri of Argentina, edged wild card Marc Lopez of Spain 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.