Playing his first clay match since his ninth French Open title last June, Rafael Nadal started slow but then found his form cruising past Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-1 in his Rio opener.
The two lefties traded no fewer than five breaks in a scratchy first set before Nadal broke at 4-4 then served out the set.
Nadal then rolled in the second to win his 15th match in Brazil without a loss. The defending champion now faces young countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round on Thursday.
No. 2 seed David Ferrer also advanced in three sets.
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