Andy Murray was broken early, but he quickly recovered to win, 6-4, 6-1. (AP)
In his first match in over a month on Tuesday, Andy Murray looked well-rested.
The world No. 1, who was stunned by Mischa Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, was in total control in his opening-round win over Malek Jaziri in Dubai.
The top seed was broken early in brutally humid conditions, but it didn’t take him long to find his groove in the 6-4, 6-1 victory. In their first career meeting, Murray finished off the Tunisian in an hour and 20 minutes to advance to the second round.
"I have never hit with him or played against him before,” Murray told the ATP website. “It took a little bit of time to get used to his game, but I played better as the match went on.”
Murray’s serve was noticeably rusty in the straight-set win. His first-serve percentage of 40 won’t cut it against higher-quality opponents, and he knows it.
"The only thing I didn't do well was the first serve,” Murray told the tour’s website. “I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe because it was the first match under the lights, and I haven't practiced in those conditions since I have been here."
Next up for Murray is 97th-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who ousted Viktor Troicki in the first round.
Earlier in the day, defending champion Stan Wawrinka—seeded second behind Murray—was upset by Damir Dzumhur.