Andy Murray brushed off the rust with a straight-sets win over Malek Jaziri in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Championships.
The world number one was playing a singles match for the first time since his shock loss to Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open five weeks ago.
He revealed ahead of the tournament that he was laid low by a bout of shingles following his return from Australia but looked in decent form here.
Murray made a slow start and struggled to find his first serve but he got better as the match went on and emerged a comfortable 6-4 6-1 winner.
The 29-year-old looked jaded in Melbourne having had little time to recover and reset after his phenomenal end to 2016.
An early-season rest was very welcome, therefore, and good timing with no threat to his number one ranking on the horizon.
The first set was anything but comfortable for Murray, with 51st-ranked Jaziri playing with freedom and taking advantage of his opponent's difficulties on serve.
The Tunisian, in the best form of his career at 33, broke for 2-1 on a very fortuitous net cord but Murray hit straight back and broke serve again to win the opening set.
Although the Scot's first-serve percentage languished at 40, he was in total control in the second set and wrapped up victory inside an hour and 20 minutes.
Jaziri bizarrely called for the trainer at 0-40 in the fourth game, resuming after a brief conversation, but did not win another game.
In the second round, Murray will face Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who won their last meeting in Indian Wells in 2012.
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