Lleyton Hewitt held off Joao Sousa's late rally to reach the second round of the ATP Sony Open in Miami.
The former world No 1 twice failed to serve out for the match before claiming a 6-1 7-6 (7-3) victory over the Portuguese with his seventh match point.
"He played way better every time he was behind in the match," Hewitt told atpworldtour.com.
"Whenever he'd get back on serve in the second set, he actually played worse.
"When he was behind, he sort of just went for it a lot more. That was tough because he sort of had nothing to lose."
The 32-year-old Australian wild card will now face 11th seed Gilles Simon, who received a first-round bye.
Nikolay Davydenko recovered from a second set wobble to beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-0 2-6 6-0, while world No 53 Xavier Malisse eventually edged out Rajeev Ram 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.
Lukas Rosol booked a second-round clash with top seed Novak Djokovic with a 7-5 6-4 win over Gilles Muller, while qualifier Dmitry Tursunov will take on third seed David Ferrer after beating Tim Smyczek 7-6 (7-4) 7/5.
Michael Llodra saw off Benoit Paire 7-6 (9-7) 6-2, while James Blake brushed aside fellow American Ryan Harrison 6-2 6-2.
Jurgen Melzer was made to work hard for a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory over Ricardas Berankis, while Victor Hanescu, Grega Zemlja, Tobias Kamke, Dudi Sela and Horacio Zeballos all registered win.