Tim Henman showed no mercy as he gave a harsh lesson to a tennis rookie on the red clay he once struggled to master.
The British No 1 defeated Juan-Pablo Brzezicki 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in as routine a first-round victory as you are likely to witness at a tennis grand slam event.
At times it was the tennis equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel against a man who had never played an ATP Tour match, let alone appeared in a grand slam.
The occasion proved too much for the Argentinian, who had been given his big chance when Henman's original opponent, Italian Potito Starace, withdrew because of an ankle injury.
Henman could hardly have hoped for an easier start in his attempt to emulate last year's adventure when he proceeded to the semi-finals before losing to another Argentinian, although in that case one with a considerably superior clay-court pedigree in Guillermo Coria.
He said the memories of that achievement had filled him with a warm glow on a chill and blustery day at Roland Garros on which the seventh seed was consigned to Court Seven.
Henman said: "Some might say there's going to be added pressure and expectation. But it was really a lot of fun to come here and get back into surroundings that I had so many great memories from 12 months ago. That helps.
"I was pretty happy with the way I was able to dominate most of the match today. There are areas where I can play better. But when you get through the first match in straight sets you really can't have too many complaints."
Henman said he had been given a boost by Starace's withdrawal and had asked around the locker room to find out more about Brzezicki.
He is ranked 147 in the world which is better than British No 3 Alex Bogdanovich. It was not nearly good enough, however, to trouble Henman.
It was clear from the opening exchanges that Henman was in a different class, coming in to the net at will to dispatch a series of volleys.
The French love Henman here for that. They appreciate his dashing instinct, the way he hits the ball flat and brings risk to a surface which so often is predictable.
They are used to claycourters prepared to camp out on the baseline all day and all night to win a single point.
Henman is different. So much so that last year he became something of an attraction here for the way he battled through two fivesetters against Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Cyril Saulnier. Not that there were any thrills yesterday.
The only mystery was how Henman's concentration wavered to allow the Argentinian to break his serve twice in that first set, even if they were the only games he won.
Sure, Brzezicki had determination and a penchant for scolding himself in Spanish but the copious errors which flew from his racket told the story of why his career is becalmed on the challenger circuit at the age of 23. A big forehand is useful only if it lands inside the lines and that was something of a rarity.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal made impressive opening-day statements of intent.
The four-time grand slam champion and the teenage pretender to the Roland Garros crown glided through their first tests.
Federer, yet to be champion here, began with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 win over Dudi Sela, of Israel. It took him only one hour and 29 minutes to set up a meeting with Spain's Nicolas Almagro.
Eighteen-year-old Nadal has been the revelation of the 2005 season and the Roland Garros debutant wasted little time in breezing past Germany's Lars Burgsmuller, prevailing 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.