04/25/2012 10:11 EDT | Updated 06/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadian Milos Raonic advances to third round on clay at Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain - Canadian Milos Raonic defeated Russian Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the third round at the Barcelona Open.

The 11th seed from Thornhill, Ont., who often trains in the Catalan capital during the season, advances to meet sixth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on Thursday.

Almagro was a 2011 semifinalist at the real Club de Tenis. But Raonic beat him in a January semifinal en route to the Chennai title.

"I feel my level improved a lot between my first match and this one," said Raonic. "I'm hitting the ball better and feeling well on the court.

"I've not looked ahead to the next match but I will. I like the way my game is feeling on clay and I think I have my chances here. If I can just keep trying to get better and better I'm sure I can do well."

Raonic, currently ranked 25th in the world, dispatched the 82nd-ranked Andreev in challenging, windy conditions that restricted his ace count to a modest five during the 75-minute match.

The Canadian, who trained much of last week after losing to Spaniard Albert Montanes in the first round at Monte Carlo, improved his 2012 ATP record to 18-4. He has two titles to his credit already in 2012.

Raonic's record against Andreev stands at 2-1 after his second clay win against the Russian.

Raonic never faced a break point and broke Andreev three times as he finished the win on his first match point with a dominating second-set performance.

The Canadian also reached the third round in 2011, losing to Croatian Ivan Dodig.