A ruthless Rafael Nadal preserved his creaky knees for tougher tests down the road by routing Dominican journeyman Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 to sail into the second round of the Australian Open.
Playing his first competitive match since pulling out of the ATP Tour Finals with knee trouble in November, the world number one showed no signs of early season rust as he tore through the evening match at Rod Laver Arena in one hour and 34 minutes.
Nadal pulled out of the Brisbane International earlier this month saying his training was slightly behind schedule due to the injury suffered midway through November's ATP Finals in London.
But any doubts over his fitness were allayed by his impressive court coverage while his trademark groundstrokes were on song.
"This is a very important beginning for me; it was a good start," Nadal said.
"I'm very happy to be here as it's very special for me to be here on Rod Laver Arena."
The high point of the match for Estrella Burgess came in a marathon sixth game of the second set when the 37-year-old broke Nadal with his sixth break point.
That brought a standing ovation from the packed Rod Laver Arena crowd but the rest of the match was one-way traffic.
Wozniacki back in fine form
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki lived up to her star billing with a sweeping Australian Open first-round victory.
Bidding to reclaim her mantle as the game's best female player, the second-seeded Dane powered past Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 6-3.
Wozniacki is hoping for her first grand slam after making the US Open decider twice and winning last year's WTA finals crown in October.
She was all class against world number 44 Buzarnescu, making just eight unforced errors for the match.
"She's had a great year and is on her way to the top 50 and made her first final, so I knew it would be tough," 27-year-old Wozniacki said.
"I kept my head down and was fighting for every point."