Valencia: Andy Murray's return to form continued as he progressed to the second round of the Valencia Open on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Austria's Jurgen Melzer.
Murray claimed his second title of the season in Vienna last week and is hoping to boost his chances of reaching the World Tour Finals in London next month with another strong showing in Spain.
And despite looking far from sure on his own serve, the two-time Grand Slam champion had too much for Melzer to extend his head-to-head record over the world number 121 to 7-0.
After an early exchange of breaks, Murray took control of the first set as he broke Melzer's serve twice more to close it out 6-3.
A similar pattern ensued in the second set with both players throwing their racquets in frustration as there were four breaks of serve in the opening seven games.
However, Murray made the decisive break to move ahead 5-3 and served it out despite having to save two break points.
Next up for the Scot is a meeting with Italian Fabio Fognini in round two on Thursday.
Murray's Tour Finals chances were also boosted by defeat for second seed Tomas Berdych earlier in the day to local favourite Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-3.
The world number six arrived in Spain full of confidence having won in Stockholm last week.
However, the Czech looked out of sorts as Andujar dropped only three points on his own serve and broke Berdych twice to close out the opening set.
Berdych had three break points to take a 3-2 lead in the second, but Andujar clung on and rolled off 10 points in a row to move within a game of victory.
A double fault from Berdych brought up match point and Andujar fittingly sealed victory with a brilliant cross court forehand winner.
The world number 46 will play Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the second round.
Last year's champion Mikhail Youzhny also suffered a earlier exit as he was beaten by Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 7-5, 6-3.