John Isner battled back from a set down against qualifier Santiago Giraldo to win his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Monday.
The American 14th seed was able to dodge heavy rain and swirling winds under the closed roof as a typhoon hit the Qizhong Tennis Centre, but he struggled to impose himself on the 83rd-ranked Colombian.
The six foot 10 inch Isner - renowned for his heavy serve - lost the first set 6-4, before wrestling his way back in the second, winning 7-5 after finally taking a seventh set point.
Isner, who fired 29 aces, broke Giraldo in the 12th game of the decider to take it 7-5 and progress to the second round.
It was an easier ride for Frenchman Gael Monfils, who dismissed Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito 6-2, 6-3 to reach the next stage, where he will face the winner of the match between Richard Gasquet and Vasek Pospisil.
Earlier in the day, Spain's Marcel Granollers was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who struggled his way through with a left ankle problem.
Last out on court was 11th seed Tommy Haas, who defeated American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4 to advance in China.
The top eight seeds - including Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Roger Federer - in Shanghai all have a bye through to the second round.
With time to spare, World No 5 Federer turned his hand to doubles, teaming with China's Zhang Ze to beat Kevin Anderson and Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-1.