Ivo Karlovic and Carlos Moya, a two-time Chennai Open winner, also advanced. Karlovic defeated American Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-3, and Moya needed a tiebreaker to overcome Thailand's Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Davydenko held serve throughout the match, but the fifth-ranked Russian wasn't completely satisfied with his performance.
"The early matches of the new season are always tricky, irrespective of who you are playing against and where you'd finished last year," said Davydenko, who won three titles last year. "My service was OK, but I wasn't pleased with my baseline game and kept waiting for my opponent to make mistakes."
Also, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan defeated Rohan Bopanna of India 6-4, 7-6 (3), and Andreas Beck of Germany beat Roko Karanusic of Croatia 6-1, 6-0. Indian wild card Somdev Devvarman defeated American Kevin Kim 6-3, 6-3, while Czech player Ivo Minar cruised past American Wayne Odesnik 6-3, 6-0.