Roger Federer cruised into the second round of the Beijing Olympics and then vowed not to “freak out” at his impending demotion to world number two.
Federer will have sat on top of the world rankings for a record 238 weeks by the time he is supplanted by Rafael Nadal on August 18.
The Swiss has had a poor year by his lofty standards, failing to win a grand slam with just the US Open to come this season.
Success in China would go some way to alleviating the disappointment and the 27-year-old certainly looked impressive in his opening-round 6-4 6-2 victory over Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov.
“My goal is to try to get the number one ranking back,” he said afterwards.
“You can’t keep your ranking forever. I think you have to have a different approach, see what the next step is.
“What I don’t like to do because you don’t play so well is freak out and have emergency meetings. That’s not going to happen.”
French Open and Wimbledon champion Nadal was not as impressive on Monday, requiring three sets to see off Italian Potito Starace 6-2 3-6 6-2.
After failing to convert seven consecutive break-point chances in the second and third sets, he broke for a 4-2 lead in the decider. He erased a 15-40 deficit on his serve in the next game, then broke again for the victory.
“I had a lot of opportunities. I didn’t convert, so that was tough,” Nadal said. “But I was winning the serves without problems. He had more problems than me when he was serving, so that gave me confidence.”
Nadal next will face a former world number one in Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, a 7-5 7-6 (7/2) winner over Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.
Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic posted the first upset of the day, ousting fifth seed David Ferrer 7-6 (10/8) 6-2.
After the first set took 79 minutes, Spaniard Ferrer was not as crisp in the second, double-faulting five times.
Of the other numerous winners on Monday was Chile’s Nicolas Massu, the defending Olympic champion.
Given a spot in the draw by the International Tennis Federation due to the fact that he stands 125th in the world, Massu came through with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Belgium’s Steve Darcis.
The unseeded Massu will have his hands full in the second round as he will have to go up against seventh seed David Nalbandian.
The Argentinian moved through in convincing fashion with a 6-2 6-1 rout of China’s Shaoxuan Zeng.
In other matches involving seeded players, ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 10th seed Gilles Simon of France and 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia all advanced.
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, the 11th seed, was upset by Gael Monfils of France 6-4 3-6 6-3.
In the women’s draw, fourth seed Serena Williams won all but four games to complete a 6-3 6-1 victory over Olga Govortsova in a match held over due to rain on Sunday.
Sixth seed Dinara Safina and ninth seed Vera Zvonareva also progressed.
Safina beat Mara Santangelo 6-3 7-6 (7/1) while Zvonareva crushed Yan Zi 6-2 6-0.
Some 65 matches were scheduled for Monday after thunderstorms all but wiped out day one, when only nine matches were completed at the Olympic Green Tennis Center.