World number one Andy Murray produced a rich vein of form as he kicked off his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets victory over Ukrainian opponent Illya Marchenko on Monday.
The 29-year-old stormed into the second round after registering a solid 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Marchenko in a thrilling clash that lasted two hours and 47 minutes.
Marchenko was relentless for the first two sets, continuing to frustrate the top seed, breaking his serve three times in eight to begin.
However, Murray found a way out of the second set by pressing home the advantage to finish it off in a relative stroll.
Murray, who is aiming for his first Australian Open title after finishing runner-up here five times (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), will now meet qualifier Andrey Rublev of Russia to book his place in the third round.
Meanwhile, fifth-seed Kei Nishikori of Japan also made a winning start to the first major of the season after battling past Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 in the opening round of the men’s singles event.