Rafael Nadal put his loss to Dominic Thiem in Madrid behind him by dropping just one game against Damir Dzumhur in his opening match at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Defeat in the quarter-finals last week meant not just the end of his 50-set winning streak on clay but also his latest stay as world number one, with Roger Federer reclaiming the spot.
But Nadal can take it back by winning in Rome and he set his stall out by blitzing Dzumhur 6-1 6-0 in an hour. It is the 13th time in his career Nadal has dropped only one game in a match, but he is still looking for his first 'double bagel'.
Novak Djokovic reached the final last year and faces a big ranking drop if he does not come close to matching that. The Serbian has been untroubled thus far and defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round.
Sixth seed Thiem made the final in Madrid but was upset here by Italian Fabio Fognini in a raucous atmosphere on the Centrale Court, the home favourite coming through 6-4 1-6 6-3.
Another shock saw Kei Nishikori, who continues to work his way back up the rankings after wrist problems, defeat third seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (4/7) 7-5 6-4, while eighth seed John Isner lost in three tie-breaks to Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Kyle Edmund continued his fine clay court form with a 6-2 7-6 (7/3) second-round win over world number 16 Lucas Pouille.
The Briton defeated Novak Djokovic and David Goffin on his way to the quarter-finals in Madrid last week and reached the third round in the Italian capital with a solid service performance against the Frenchman.
Edmund, who moved into the world's top 20 on Monday, broke twice in the first set and offered just one break point in the whole of the match before blitzing Pouille in the second-set tie-break for a comfortable victory.