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Key Biscayne, FL (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt was a first-round winner Wednesday, as the men's portion of the lucrative Sony Open got underway on Wednesday.

The two-time Grand Slam champion Hewitt got past Portuguese Joao Sousa 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) on the hardcourts at Crandon Park.

Meanwhile, quality Frenchman Michael Llodra handled compatriot Benoit Paire 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, capable Belgian Xavier Malisse edged out American Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, and Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer overcame Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) on Day 1.

Additional wins came for Czech Lukas Rosol, Indian Somdev Devvarman, Romanian Victor Hanescu, German Tobias Kamke, Dutchman Igor Sijsling, Slovenian Grega Zemlja, and Spaniard Albert Ramos. Kamke's second-round opponent will be last week's Indian Wells runner-up and former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro.

This week's top seed and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic beat 2009 titlist Andy Murray in last year's finale in Miami. The Australian Open champion Djokovic and U.S. Open titlist Murray are the top seeds at this 12- day tournament.

Two-time champion Roger Federer and last week's Indian Wells titlist Rafael Nadal decided against playing here.

The winner of this $4.169 Masters 1000 event will claim $719,160.