Top-seeded and defending champion David Ferrer was an easy first-round winner Wednesday at the clay-court Copa Claro tennis event.
The world No. 4 star cruised past Argentine wild card Agustin Velotti 6-4, 6-1 at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, where the Spaniard beat compatriot and 2011 champion Nicolas Almagro in last year's final in the Argentine capital. Ferrer was also a runner-up here in 2010.
Ferrer's second-round opponent on Thursday will be last week's Sao Paulo runner-up to Rafael Nadal -- Argentine tennis hero David Nalbandian, who held off fellow countryman Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 on Day 3.
The former Wimbledon runner-up Nalbandian titled in Buenos Aires in 2008.
Almagro, seeded second in this year's event, was to have faced Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in Wednesday's second round, but the match was postponed until Thursday after heavy rains washed out the night session.
Two other second-round matches were pushed back, including 2009 Copa titlist Tommy Robredo's clash with Argentine Diego Sebastian Schwartzman and a battle between Albert Montanes and Federico Delbonis.
German Julian Reister was leading Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene 6-1, 0-5 in a second-round bout before play was stopped due to the wet conditions.
In other completed opening-round action, sixth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini bested Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-3 and Argentine lucky-loser Marco Trungelliti was leading fellow countryman Facundo Arguello 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 when the qualifier retired on Day 3.
This week's champ will pocket $84,550.