Andy Murray became the first man through to the quarter-finals at the Dubai Duty Free Championships with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli.
The world number four has endured a post-Australian Open slump in the last two seasons and struggled yesterday in his first match since his Melbourne semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic, needing three sets to get past unheralded German Michael Berrer.
But Murray looked much sharper today, albeit against modest opposition in the shape of the 30-year-old world number 185, and eased through in one hour and 22 minutes.
Coach Ivan Lendl said following the Berrer match that he believed Murray had left Australia in a positive frame of mind and he certainly made a fast start today.
The 24-year-old created a break point in Chiudinelli's first service game and then capitalised on his next opportunity when a backhand proved too good for his opponent.
The Swiss player beat Nikolay Davydenko in the first round yesterday but he was having no joy at all on the Murray serve and the third seed served out the set with an ace.
Chiudinelli held Murray at bay in the second set until the ninth game, when some good play from the Scot forced three break points and he took the second to leave himself serving for the match.
And there were no late alarms for Murray, who will face either fifth seed Tomas Berdych or Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko in the last eight.