Federer, who has won the event five of the last six years, including in 2010 and '11, just got by Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5. The very clean match saw just one double fault between the two and two breaks -- one in the first set and on in the 11th game of the third set by Federer.
Federer won 77 percent of the points on serve and saved both break points he faced. Bellucci took 72 percent of the points when he served but could only save one of Federer's three break chances.
Richard Gasquet, seeded third, won in straight sets, beating Marco Chiudinelli 6-1, 6-4 in just more than an hour. Gasquet lost a mere six points in nine games serving.
Grigor Dimitrov took two of three tiebreakers in a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3) decision over Julien Benneteau in a match that lasted nearly 3 hours.
But Benoit Paire ousted fifth-seeded Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Marinko Matosevic eliminated seventh-seeded Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3 in 62 minutes in other first-round matches.