Juan Carlos Ferrero heaved a sigh of relief yesterday after his marathon first-round match, which spanned three days, against Stefan Koubek in the Salem Open ended. 'It was not easy having to wait for so long. We spent the whole day in the locker room yesterday waiting for the match to start. I warmed up three or four times and it was called off. Then we went on court and we were off again. But today I had a really good 20 minutes,' Ferrero said after winning the match. The match began on Tuesday and was postponed because of rain after 45 minutes with the score 6-2, 2-2 in the Spaniard's favour. On Wednesday the pair resumed for all of three minutes with Austrian Koubek holding serve to lead 3-2 in the second set before the rains came again and washed out play for the night. The match finally ended yesterday - 67 hours and 28 minutes after it began with Ferrero wrapping up the second set 6-4. 'I can't remember playing a match like this ever. I'm happy this is over,' said Ferrero, who is ranked sixth in the world. Appearing in Hong Kong for the second successive year, the second-seeded 22-year-old will now meet Jeff Morrison. The American saw off fellow-qualifier Takao Suzuki of Japan 6-2, 6-2 to book his berth in the second round. Ferrero reached the quarter-finals last year where he lost to eventual finalist Rainer Schuettler of Germany. The Spaniard is hoping to go all the way this time. If he does, it will help him cement his position in the ATP Champions Race and oust Briton Tim Henman from fourth place. Ferrero is currently on 393 while Henman, who is not playing this week after a tiring Davis Cup, is on 420. The winner in Hong Kong gets 35 points. Fellow-countryman Carlos Moya is in a similar position. He is joint-fifth in the Champions Race and a good result in Hong Kong will also help book a place at the Masters Cup in Shanghai from November 12-17 where the world's top eight players battle it out for the richest purse - a whopping US$3.7 million. Moya, the third seed here, defeated American Jan-Michael Gambill 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in his opening round match. Like Ferrero, Moya said he found it frustrating having to wait. But the delay did not slow him down. 'It has been hard waiting for two days. But I felt pretty good once I was out there. The last time I played him I lost, but I knew that was an accident. Hopefully I will play better as I go on,' said the 26-year-old, who is ranked 10th in the world. Moya seemed to be on cruise control as he won the first set with just one break of service. But then his game spluttered and he lost the second set after being up a break. Moya dropped his serve twice and memories of the last time he played Gambill (he lost to the American at the US Open) flashed by. However, the 1998 French Open champion bounced back and broke Gambill in the second game to run out an easy winner, showing that he's adept on hardcourt as well as clay. 'With me, you can never expect a match is over before it is,' said Moya, smiling away his mid-match slump. A dead ringer for Hollywood star Kurt Russell, Moya is now up against Australian Wayne Arthurs in the second round, an opponent he has never played. 'I know he has a big serve and I will have to focus on my return of service. But I'm happy with the way I'm playing on hardcourt,' said Moya, who has won four of his 11 ATP titles this season - in Acapulco, Bastad, Umag and Cincinnati. Fifth seed Juan Ignacio Chela also progressed safely into the second round. The Argentinian defeated Swede Magnus Norman 6-3, 6-4 to book a match against Chilean Nicolas Massu. 'The rain delay helped me quite a lot. I was tired yesterday as I had arrived from playing Davis Cup in Moscow where I played two singles matches. So I was happy with the delay caused by the rain,' said Chela afterwards.