Rafael Nadal said he was pleased to overcome a tricky opponent in his first match on the hard-court swing on Wednesday.

Seventh seed Nadal defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in the Rogers Cup second round, a meritorious victory given the Ukrainian has one top-10 scalp to his name this season - Stan Wawrinka in Marseille in February.

Nadal has won the Canadian Masters event three times in his career, and was pleased he was able to counter the net-rushing Stakhovsky.

"I think it was a good match. Only one bad game during the whole match, I think at 5-4 on my serve in the first set. The rest was a positive match I think," Nadal told a news conference.

"Not easy conditions today, a lot of wind, [playing against] a player who doesn't want to play a lot of points from the baseline so we just tried to play points shorter - going to the net, playing with the slice.

"Not an easy opponent to start with but I am happy with the way I managed the match.

"As I said, it was only that game at 5-4 in the first set. The rest was very positive."

Nadal withdrew from Toronto in 2014 due to a wrist injury, but was pleased to have a clean slate - rankings points wise - to build on at the ATP 1000 event this year.

"I prefer to be here with a victory; doesn't matter the way," Nadal added.

"The important thing is winning. You have another opportunity tomorrow.

"This is a part of the season that I won zero points last year.

"Every match that I won are points that I add to the computer for my [ranking].

"That's important for me today. Every victory is important for me. That was a good one. Let's try tomorrow."

Nadal will next face Mikhail Youzhny - the Russian once rising as high as eight in the rankings, and enjoying a resurgent tournament having dropped down to 103 in the world - in the third round.