America's Andy Roddick safely negotiated the opening round of the ATP tournament in Poertschach, Austria, on Monday, seeing off local wildcard Alexander Peya 6-4, 7-5.
Not usually at his best on clay, the world number three put in a concentrated performance against the world number 99, winning through thanks to breaks in the final game of each set.
Although he managed only two aces to his opponent's six, Roddick was otherwise formidable on serve -- dropping just six out of 50 points.
"I felt like I played pretty well," Roddick told Austrian television. "It was a hell of a match with not many unforced errors and just a couple of good points there at the end making the only difference."
Roddick, a former world number one, will be looking for further boosts of confidence this week as he finalises his preparations for the French Open, where he has never been past the third round.
The American regained third place in the sport's rankings on Monday at the expense of Nikolay Davydenko who is also playing in Poertschach this week.
Chasing his third successive title at the Austrian tournament, the Russian top seed is projected to meet Roddick in Saturday's final.
Third seed and world number seven Ivan Ljubicic followed Roddick into the second round on Monday, but only after coming through an unexpectedly tough encounter with American world number 67 Amer Delic.
Ljubicic eventually saw off the Bosnian-born Delic 7-6, 7-6 to set up an encounter with Peru's Luis Horna.
French qualifier Mathieu Montcourt pulled off the biggest surprise of the day, downing Belarussian eighth seed Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-4.
The 22-year-old Parisian had celebrated only one previous win on the senior circuit -- a first-round win at Roland Garros last year.
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