New Delhi: Rafael Nadal won his first match as the top seed of a Grand Slam. The new world number 1 was made to work very hard through.
Nadal's unseeded German opponent, Bjorn Phau pushed the first set to a tie-breaker. Phau kept pace in most of the rallies and moved well around the court.
Nadal won the first set and managed to set the pace in the second, but the Spaniard let Bjorn creep a little closer in the third as well, before closing out the match 7-6, 6-3, 7-6.
"I have the same goal, play the same as I did when I was Number 2. When I was Number 2, I was very happy. I am very motivated to play the tournament, not to be Number 1. Right now I am trying to play a very good tournament to win the US Open," he said.
In another match Frenchman Gael Monfils too went through to Round 2 with a straight set win over Pablo Cuevas.
Meanwhile, ninth seed James Blake survived a scare to beat countryman Donald Young in a thrilling five-setter. Blake won the first set 6-1 but Young came back in the second to take it at 6-3. The next two sets were shared before Blake kept his nerve to win the fifth set 6-4.