It took three sets for the 2008 Heineken Open champion to defeat American Ryan Harrison in the second round of this year's tournament.
No. 8 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber topped his wildcard opponent 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The 19-year-old American left the court after a one hour and 56 minute match, but not without proving he deserved to be a part of the tournament.
In the opening round in Auckland, Harrison defeated fellow countrymen and wildcard entry Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-3. In recent months, Querrey's ranking has dropped from the Top 20 to just inside the Top 100 due to injuries.
"I played well from start to finish and it was a great match for me,'' Harrison said. "Getting the first match of the season out of the way with a win is always exciting.
"I didn't expect a quick match against a player like Sam, but I served well and played well and I'm very happy.''
American Donald Young also fell in the opening round. The tournament's No. 7 seed lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Alejandro Falla of Colombia.
As for Kohlschreiber, he'll face the winner of No. 2 seeded Nicolas Almagro and Santiago Giraldo.