Spain's David Ferrer defeated Argentina's Agustin Velotti 6-4, 6-1 in his debut at the Copa Claro tournament in Buenos Aires.
The world No. 4 will face Argentina's David Nalbandian next in the clay-court event at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
The 30-year-old Ferrer needed one hour and 20 minutes to beat the 20-year-old Velotti, who is ranked 186th in the world and got a wild card into the tournament.
"I wanted to get going and, above all, with a victory. It was a complicated match, mainly in the first set. Undoubtedly, there is no such thing as an easy match. Even if the ranking is not close, tennis is very even," Ferrer told the TyC Sport network after the match.
Ferrer, who is the top seed and defending champion at the clay-court event in Buenos Aires, praised Velotti, the 2010 French Open juniors champion, saying that the young Argentine has a solid game and great potential.
The Spaniard will have to contend with Nalbandian, a wily veteran ranked 78th in the world, next.
The Copa Claro is the third stop on the ATP Tour's four-tournament Latin American swing.
Ferrer made the final in Buenos Aires on his past two visits, finishing as the runner-up to countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2010 and taking the title in 2012 with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Spain's Nicolas Almagro. EFE