RAFA Nadal beat Thomaz Bellucci in his opening match of the ATP Rio de Janeiro Open in Brazil.
The world number three was made to work hard by the local hope in the opening set, with the two players trading breaks of serve early on, but the Spaniard broke once again while leading 5-4 to claim the set.
From there on he never looked back, taking charge of his first match of the season on clay. He he rushed to a 4-0 lead in the second set, eventually running out a 6-4 6-1 winner.
Nadal will face Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round.
David Ferrer also made it through with a 6-4, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
ATP Rio results – first round matches
6-Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) beat Nicolas Almagro (Spain) 4-6 6-3 6-4
2-David Ferrer (Spain) beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Spain) 6-4 6-3
8-Martin Klizan (Slovakia) beat Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 6-4 0-6 6-4
Federico Delbonis (Argentina) beat Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 6-7(8) 7-6(6) 2-1 (Schwartzman retired)
Blaz Rola (Slovenia) beat 5-Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 4-6 7-6(3) 4-1 (Mayer retired)
Joao Souza (Brazil) beat Facundo Argueello (Argentina) 6-2 6-1
Juan Monaco (Argentina) beat 7-Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) 6-3 3-0 (Giraldo retired)
Pablo Andujar (Spain) beat Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) 3-6 6-0 6-3
4-Fabio Fognini (Italy) beat Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic) 1-6 7-6(7) 6-1
Pablo Carreno (Spain) beat Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 6-3 6-7(3) 6-0
1-Rafa Nadal (Spain) beat Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) 6-4 6-1
Albert Montanes (Spain) beat Maximo Gonzalez (Argentina) 4-6 6-4 6-0