Top-seeded David Ferrer labored past a stubborn Olivier Rochus 7-5, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Valencia Open.
Rochus saved five break points before succumbing to Ferrer on serve in the 10th game of the second set. The fifth-ranked Spaniard then held on despite 42 unforced errors, releasing a big breath of relief after closing it out in 2 hours, 13 minutes when the Belgian netted.
Earlier, Sam Querrey of the United States beat Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6 (4) to deal a blow to the Spaniard's hopes of playing in next month's Davis Cup final.
Also, Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine beat Filippo Volandri of Italy 6-3, 7-6 (5).