Thailand's Danai Udomchoke said he feels "at home" after beating Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to reach the second round of the Japan Open in Tokyo on Tuesday.
"I feel good to be in Japan. I feel like it is my second home here," said the 25-year-old from Bangkok, who is popular with Japanese fans.
"Today I played really good. I just kept my concentration in important points. That's why I won 7-6, 6-3, that's what I was doing."
Danai crashed out at the first hurdle last year but was solid Tuesday with an array of accurate groundstrokes. Once he took the tie-break in the first set he never looked back, breaking Cilic immediately to power to victory.
His effort earned him a second round clash with Benjamin Becker of Germany, who received a first-round bye along the other 15 seeded players, including world No.1 Roger Federer.
Danai was joined in the next round by Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan, who defeated Ramon Delgado of Paraguay 6-2, 6-3. Lu next plays second seed Tommy Robredo of Spain.
Elsewhere, Satoshi Iwabuchi of Japan outclassed Chen Ti of Taiwan 6-2, 6-1.