Andy Murray battled through to win his first round-match against Jurgen Melzer in the Valencia Open on Wednesday.
Britain's number one won 6-3 6-3 after taking a wildcard into the event as he bids to qualify for the end-of-season World Tour Finals.
And he showed typical determination to dispatch the veteran Austrian in a tournament he won in 2009.
World number 10 Murray, 27, prevailed in the first set after the players exchanged breaks and was broken in the first game of the second set by the world number 121.
But the Scot quickly regained his rhythm, immediately broke back, and went on to see out the match with no further upsets.
Murray said: "It's been a good start. I'll need to keep playing better as the tournament goes on if I want to win."
Murray will play Italy's Fabio Fognini, ranked 19 in the world, in the next round (estimated 14:00 BST Thursday) and is seeded to meet Ferrer in the semi-final - a massive match in the race to make the World Tour Finals.
The top eight players in the ATP rankings at the end of the season qualify for the finals in London in November.
Spain's Ferrer, currently ninth in the race for London, beat Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-3 7-5 in their first-round match. Ferrer will play compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the next round.
Earlier Murray's chances were boosted by defeat for second seed Tomas Berdych to local favourite Pablo Andujar 6-3 6-3.