Federer went into the match with a losing record against Canas
Roger Federer was in fine form as he saw off old foe Guillermo Canas in straight sets at the Rome Masters.
The top seed won 6-3 6-3 and next faces Potito Starace or Ivo Karlovic.
It was a significant win for Federer, who suffered back-to-back defeats against Canas early last year and had a 2-3 record against the Argentine.
Earlier, Andy Roddick got his clay-court season off to a solid start with a 6-1 6-4 win over fellow American and good friend Mardy Fish.
"I feel pretty good," said Roddick. "I enjoy the challenge of clay.
"It's probably my toughest surface so that makes the wins that I do get much more satisfying."
Juan Carlos Ferrero saw off Nicolas Kiefer 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in the first round to set up a clash with defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Croatian wildcard Mario Ancic defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-4 and will meet fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the second round.
I'm back in my stride again and feel like I'm playing well and nothing ever happened
And Jamie Murray and Max Mirnyi moved into the second round of the doubles event thanks to a 7-5 6-4 victory over Dmitry Tursunov and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer has been in good form on the clay so far this year, taking the title in Estoril and finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo.
And despite facing his bogey man in Canas, Federer looked assured throughout his second-round encounter in Rome.
The top seed broke serve in the middle of the first set and sealed it with two aces and a delightful drop shot in game nine.
Canas came closest to breaking in the sixth game of the second set, when Federer was lucky to save a break point with a net-cord winner.
But the Swiss star, beaten finalist in Rome in 2003 and 2006, went on to break Canas's serve twice in the last three games.
"The draw was tough with Guillermo in the second round," said Federer.
"We've had some tough ones in the past and I knew it was going to be difficult.
"I played well. I felt I was in the groove right away again from Monaco. It was a good match to start off the Rome campaign and I hope I can move on from here."
And Federer said he was confident he was back to his best after suffering from glandular fever at the start of the season.
"I'm back in my stride again and feel like I'm playing well and nothing ever happened," he said.
"It was a tough couple of months early on."
Federer has confirmed he will prepare for Wimbledon at next month's warm-up event in Halle, Germany, along with Tomas Berdych, James Blake and Marcos Baghdatis.