Andy Murray's first match since parting with his coach ended in victory, but the Scot did not have things all his own way.
Murray beat Tim Smyczek, an American qualifier, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Los Angeles Open, in which he was due to play Colombia's Alejandro Falla in the early hours of this morning.
Murray, 23, who is looking for a new coach after ending his association with Miles Maclagan, had not played since his semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and looked rusty at times. He also stiffened up towards the end of his first match on hard courts since the clay and grass-court seasons and spent the final changeovers standing up.
Smyczek, the world No 192, was outclassed in the first set, which Murray took in only 28 minutes. However, the world No 4 dropped his serve three times in the second set before resuming command in the decider. "Tonight was a very good match with a lot of long rallies," Murray said. "Hopefully it will stand me in good stead."
Murray said that he might have stiffened up because of the coolness of the evening: "I was struggling a little bit with my movement ... but I managed to find a way to win."