The Shanghai Masters stepped up a gear on Tuesday as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event witnessed the return of Novak Djokovic.
World number one Djokovic saw off Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-3 in relatively comfortable fashion to reach the third round, marking his comeback after recovering from an elbow injury.
Nick Kyrgios and David Goffin were among the bigger names to safely negotiate their first-round matches by beating Sam Querrey and Juan Martin del Potro respectively.
Marin Cilic and David Ferrer were the biggest casualties of the day - the eighth and 10th seeds lost to and Alexander Zverev and Feliciano Lopez.
Cilic had been chasing a place in the third round, while Ferrer's loss to compatriot Lopez was a first-round clash.
DJOKOVIC MAKES WINNING RETURN
Having not played since losing to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final, Djokovic had expressed a desire to rediscover his love for the game - the Serbian's form has dipped somewhat after wrapping up a career Grand Slam at the French Open.
While not back to his absolute best, Djokovic dispatched Fognini without ever being truly challenged, and any glimpses of quality from the Italian never evolved into match-threatening opportunities.
The result sees defending champion Djokovic go 39-1 for his last 40 matches in Asia and he will now meet Grigor DImitrov or Vasek Pospisil in round three.
Dimitrov eliminated Richard Gasquet on Tuesday, while Pospisil got the better of Ivo Karlovic on Monday.
KYRGIOS MAINTAINS FORM
Kyrgios' unquestionable talent is beginning to bear fruit, with the Australian having picked up his first ATP 500 title at the Japan Open at the weekend.
The 21-year-old fired down 14 aces and did not face a break point in defeating Querrey 6-4 6-4 in less than an hour.
Goffin - the man beaten by Kyrgios in Tokyo - came from a set down to get past Del Potro 4-6 6-3 7-5, setting up a second-round clash with Benoit Paire.
Kyrgios, meanwhile, will take on qualifier Mischa Zverev.
FERRER FALLS IN ALL-SPANISH BATTLE, CILIC THROWS IT AWAY
Ferrer became the second seed to fall - following Pablo Cuevas' earlier exit - when he lost 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) to compatriot Feliciano Lopez.
Lopez's reward for knocking out Ferrer is a second-round meeting with Jack Sock, who ended the challenge of Guido Pella in straight sets.
Cilic, meanwhile, had been in front against Germany's Alexander Zverev - brother of Mischa - before eventually losing 3-6 6-3 6-2.
Elsewhere, there were second-round wins for Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Lucas Pouille progressed past Fernando Verdasco to make it out of the opening round.
Bernard Tomic retired hurt to send 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut into the second round.