World No 3 David Ferrer got his Australian Open challenge off to an impressive start with a straight-sets win over Alejandro Gonzalez.
Ferrer needed just over two hours to see off the Colombian with a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory.
The Spaniard, who lost to Novak Djokovic in 89 painful minutes in the semi-final 12 months ago, will now take on Adrian Mannarino in the second round.
"Every week is different. The last match I played here was very bad, but it's just one match," Ferrer said. "Now I am in another tournament, other conditions.
"I played well today. I play good some moments in the match and I have to be positive."
Ferrer is joined in the next round by fellow top-10 ranked stars Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet
Berdych, the seventh seed, disposed of Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3 6-4 6-3 in 110 minutes.
"I like to play here. I like the crowd, the courts, the atmosphere. So I hope that I'm going to be able to make another successful run here in Melbourne," Berdych said.
"I felt good on my serve. I was facing just two break points down, which I managed to save. I didn't drop my serve at all through the match."
Wawrinka, seeded eighth, was in complete control as he led Andrey Golubev 6-4 4-1 on Hisense Arena when a calf injury force the Kazakh player to retire.
Ninth seed Gasquet put his injury doubts behind him as he edged out fellow Frenchmen David Guez 7-5 6-4 6-1.
Injury ended the hopes of 12th seed Tommy Haas, with a shoulder issue forcing him to pull out while trailing Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 5-2, however that was a rare blip for the seeds in Melbourne.
The 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny powered to a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, while 15th-ranked Fabio Fognini had won the first two sets 6-3 6-2 when Alex Bogomolov Jr retired hurt.
Kevin Anderson, the No 19 seed, recovered from two sets down to beat Jiri Vesely 2-6 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 6-4 6-4, while Ernests Gulbis lost the opening set before the 23rd seed went on to overcome Juan Monaco 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.
No 29 seed Jeremy Chardy toppled Jesse Huta Galung 6-2 6-4 6-4, while 32nd seed Ivan Dodig dug deep to beat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 7-6 (7-4)
Sam Querrey, Matthew Ebden, Leonardo Mayer, Kenny De Schepper, Dominic Thiem, Jarkko Nieminen, Florian Mayer, Alejandro Falla and Damir Dzumhur were among the other first-round winners on the opening day.