Andy Murray capped a whirlwind few days with an impressive straight sets win over Adrian Mannarino to reach round two at Indian Wells.
The former world number one proved too strong for the Frenchman as he notched up a 6-3 6-2 victory in one hour and 24 minutes.
It was more good news for the Scot after his social media appeal to find his missing wedding ring proved successful following his ill-advised decision to leave them tied to his sweaty trainers airing under his car overnight.
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Speaking during an on-court interview, Murray was delighted with his performance in his first match at Indian Wells since 2017.
He said: “It’s really nice, it’s one of the nicest places to play on tour. Unfortunately I’ve not felt that I’ve managed to play my best tennis here, I’ve always found the conditions quite tricky and it was the same again tonight. It's very breezy on court so it's not easy to play and I was against a tricky opponent as well.
Highlights: Murray eases past Mannarino to reach second round
"I competed well. I don’t think I tried to overplay. I played to how the conditions allowed. I tried to use a bit of variety, used my slice quite a lot and different heights. I didn’t give him too many opportunities on my serve and my concentration until maybe the last game was really good. That’s something that’s been a bit of a problem the last couple of tournaments."
Murray, who had defended his award of a wildcard ahead of his appearance at a tournament that is one of only two Masters 1000 titles missing from his glittering CV, made a confident start and secured a crucial breakthrough in Game 6.
A quite sublime lob from a defensive position was key to his success and the world number 121 went on to serve out the opener to love in 40 minutes.
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Mannarino began to look increasingly frustrated but continued to battle hard, swatting away two break points in Game 3 of the second set. However, Murray refused to be denied and a fizzing return earned him an important break to lead 3-2.
The 34-year-old Scot had to dig deep to consolidate as Mannarino missed a gilt-edged volley at the net at 30-30 before adding to a growing list of glaring errors as he coughed up the double break with an untimely double fault.
Murray suffered some jitters attempting to serve out the match and was forced to save a break point before finally coming through to set up a clash with rising Spanish starlet, Carlos Alcaraz in round two.
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