Andy Murray kept his winning run going with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 first-round victory over Viktor Troicki at the St Petersburg Open today.
The British number one is the defending champion and top seed for the event, and after breaking his Serbian opponent in the fifth game he did not look back.
Murray is on a high after making it back-to-back Masters Series victories with a straight-sets win over Gilles Simon in Madrid on Sunday.
He only arrived in Russia yesterday and could have been forgiven for being below par in his first meeting with the 22-year-old Serb, but Murray prides himself on his fitness these days and was never in any danger of making an early exit.
The 21-year-old racked up his first break point in the fifth game, but Troicki saved it with an ace. The Briton was not to be denied on his second opportunity, however, and moved into a 3-2 lead.
Troicki, who is at a career-high ranking of 53rd, won the first two points of the next game but Murray recovered to cement his break.
Having initially held his own, Troicki was now struggling and the top seed claimed another break of serve to take the set 6-3. He then made it five games in a row to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.
Troicki, who reached the final in Washington in August, finally ended Murray's run of six straight games to get on the board in the second set, but it was merely delaying the inevitable as the champion easily served out the match.
The Scot will face a tricky test next against exciting young Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-0 6-2 in the first round.
Murray took the title last year with a 6-2 6-3 victory over big-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the final - his first trophy following a wrist injury that saw him miss the French Open and Wimbledon.