"It was hard because I haven't played on a claycourt for a long time, so the first few matches are always tough," Nalbandian conceded after coming back from a set down to beat Luzzi.
"In the beginning I didn't start good, I didn't feel the ball, I didn't feel the court, I couldn't slide."
The world number 12 went down 4-0 in the first set against the unheralded Italian before recovering for a 3-6 6-2 6-1 win.
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"I didn't feel great and then game after game I started feeling better. After 4-0 down in the first set I started feeling a little bit better," the 25-year-old said.
"I couldn't turn around the first set, but then the second and third I played good again."
Nalbandian, the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up, thinks he can reach the final in his first clay tournament since going out in the round robin phase of his home-tournament in Buenos Aires in February.
"I hope I try to be in the final round, but it's not easy. There are a lot of guys playing good at the moment and you never know," he said.
"If I play a good next match and get more confidence and spend more time on court, that would be great."
Nalbandian next faces the winner of the first-round match between qualifiers Andrei Pavel and Philipp Kohlschreiber and says that either opponent would give hime a test.
"They've played two matches already so this is their third match and maybe they'll be a little bit tired. I know if I play good I can beat both of them, but both are dangerous."
As for the possibility of a rematch of last year's final between top seeds Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Nalbandian gives the edge to the defending champion Nadal.
"If the tournaments are faster than last year, maybe [Federer] has a chance, but if it's slow then I don't think he has a chance against Nadal," the Argentine said. "It's tough, Rafa is so strong on clay."
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