Stan Wawrinka got down to business as he made his 119th career Masters 1000 start, earning a 6-2, 6-4 opening win on Wednesday over Ilya Ivashka to reach the Rome second round for a 13th time.

The 38-year-old with three Grand Slam titles in his curriculum, played a final at the Foro Italico against Novak Djokovic in 2008 and reached the semi-finals here eight years ago.

But the No. 84 who is still coming back from several seasons of knee surgery recovery, feels his confidence is rising as the clay season heads towards its peak at Roland Garros.

“I’m playing well. It was a good first match,” the Swiss said. “I’m really happy to get through again. I’ve been working hard to get to this level.”

The oldest player in the field added: “This year I’m playing much better, but I need to win more matches. 

“That’s what I am missing a bit, the confidence to win more matches. But in general the level is great.”

Wawrinka sent over five aces and broke three times in his 78-minute win to next face Grigor Dimitrov.