Fifth seed Rafael Nadal overcame the stubborn challenge of France's Benoit Paire to progress to the last 16 of the Madrid Open.
Nadal - a two-time winner of the event - certainly did not have things all his own way against the world No 37, but eventually progressed in straight sets following a 6-3 6-4 victory.
A break in either set proved sufficient for the 11-time grand slam winner, although the match lasted nearly 90 minutes as Paire gave the Spaniard some uncomfortable moments.
Nadal made what proved a decisive move in the sixth game of the opening set, chasing down a Paire overhead and then whipping a forehand winner past his opponent to break for 4-2.
The Spaniard was handed a code violation in the next game for taking too long between points, but duly overcame it to serve out for the set.
Nadal came under pressure early in the second set and gave up the only break point opportunity on his delivery in the fourth game. However, Paire was unable to kill off the point at the net and, having survived, there was an air of inevitability when Nadal finally broke to move ahead at 5-4.
He served out with ease to book his place in the third round and will now face Mikhail Youzhny, who caused something of a shock by knocking out Nicolas Almagro, the 11th seed, 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-2 .
Elsewhere on Wednesday, sixth seed Tomas Berdych needed three hard-fought sets to complete a 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 6-2 win over Jerzy Janowicz, while 13th and 14 seeds Tommy Haas and Kei Nishikori beat Tommy Robredo and Viktor Troicki respectively.
David Ferrer also progressed, the fourth-seeded Spaniard seeing off the challenge of Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan by a 7-5 6-2 scoreline.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was pushed a little harder by Dutchman Robin Haase before eventually prevailing in two tie-breaks, while Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland dismissed Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3 6-3.