Rafael Nadal survived a second set comeback from Gilles Muller to defeat him by two sets to one in his first match at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
The Spaniard hailed the win as a confidence booster after losses to Dominic Thiem and Pablo Cuevas in his last two events at the semi-final stage.
"I'm very happy for the victory after my last three matches that I've lost have been in three sets or five sets," the 14-time grand slam winner told atpworldtour.com.
"So I needed a victory like this. I was very happy about my attitude. It was a great victory for me."
The victory books Nadal a place in the third round where he faces fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco.
The big hitting Verdasco bundled out Nadal in the opening round of the Australian Open earlier in the year.
"I need to play better in the next match," quipped the 29-year-old.
"I play against a tough opponent. He beat me in Australia this year."