Beijing:Nikolay Davydenko flew in from a US Open semifinal loss to Roger Federer for his next assignment - the China Open and a new round of questions over a gambling investigation.
The top-seeded Davydenko needed just over an hour to beat Zack Fleishman 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday in the first round at the Beijing Tennis Center.
The 26-year-old Russian expects to meet soon with investigators after a British online gambling company tracked bettors putting 10 times the usual amount of money on a match he played in August.
Most of the backing was for his 87th-ranked opponent; Davydenko quit in the third set with a foot injury.
Davydenko has denied any involvement in the gambling ever since, and again had to protest his innocence after his first-round win here.
"Nearly all the newspapers covered the issue and my reputation was damaged," he told a news conference. "I looked like a bad guy and I felt depressed. Now I try to come back and explain it to the public. It has nothing to do with me."
Davydenko said he was happy that the ATP was conducting an investigation.
Defending champion Marcos Baghdatis had a difficult opener against local qualifier Zeng Shaoxuan, needing almost two hours before winning 7-6 (3), 7-5.
"It was a tough match. I didn't play my best, but the most important thing is to win the match and enter the next round," Baghdatis said. "I hope I can keep the momentum in the next couple of days, working harder and becoming stronger."
He next plays Serbia's Boris Pashanski, who beat Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (6).
Also, Ivan Ljubicic beat Japanese qualifier Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, his fellow Croatian Marin Cilic overcame Rainer Schuettler 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3 and Nicolas Kiefer defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 6-2, 6-3.