Fabio Fognini of Italy dropped his racket and still won a set point in his first-round match.
Seeded fifth, Fognini was serving for the second set against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil when the racket slipped from his hand after serving. But it bounced back up off the clay, so he snatched it, rallied with Bellucci and hit an overhead winner at the net to tie the score on sets.
Fognini, who had been down a set and 4-0, ultimately prevailed 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2.
Second-seeded and world No. 6 Dominic Thiem of Austria will debut Tuesday in the clay tournament at Rio de Janeiro's Jockey Club.
On Sunday, Thiem won the title of the ATP 250 Argentina Open in Buenos Aires for the second time in the tournament that kicks off Latin America's tennis season.