The world number five took little over an hour to dispatch the Australian 6-1 6-2 and book his spot in the third round, where he will play 16th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.
"I felt comfortable," El Pais quotes Nadal as saying. "I began without expecting great things and trying to play with order.
"At the start of the second he played good games and I played bad. He had chances but luckily didn't convert them and I played pretty well at the end."
The Spaniard, who has already captured clay-court titles in Acapulco and Sao Paulo since his return from a knee injury, has won this tournament for the past eight years running.