World No. 1 and two-time champion Novak Djokovic went the distance on Tuesday, while second seed David Ferrer retired from his first-round match at the $2.2 million China Open.
Playing in his first match since finishing as the U.S. Open runner-up last month, the top-seeded Djokovic dropped a second-set tiebreak en route to a 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 victory over German qualifier Michael Berrer in just under two hours on the hardcourts at Beijing's National Tennis Centre.
Djokovic titled here back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.
The Australian Open champion Djokovic's second-round opponent on Wednesday will be Argentine Carlos Berlocq.
Meanwhile, the 2010 Beijing runner-up to Djokovic Ferrer was trailing Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu 4-5 in the first set when the Spaniard quit due to a stomach virus.
A pair of seeded Frenchmen moved on, as No. 4 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) in just under two hours and hot Richard Gasquet, seeded fifth this week, handled Aussie qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-4. Tsonga will face former top-five star Nikolay Davydenko in the round of 16.
The flashy Gasquet is fresh off his first title in more than two years last week in Bangkok. He'll face China's Ze Zhang on Thursday.
A Day-2 upset came when Russian Mikhail Youzhny took out seventh-seeded German Tommy Haas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Youzhny was a China Open finalist in 2004.
In other opening-round action, Davydenko defeated fellow Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 7-5, 6-1; Austrian Jurgen Melzer held off Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3); Italian Andreas Seppi doused Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 2-0, retired; and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez outlasted American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-2. Benneteau, who exited the draw due to a right arm injury on Tuesday, was fresh off his runner-up finish in Kuala Lumpur last week.
The 2012 Beijing champion will earn $530,570.