Andy Murray sails past Viktor Troicki
Andy Murray started his clay-court season in style by beating Viktor Troicki 6-0, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Briton had to rally from two sets down before getting the better of the Serb in last year's French Open fourth round, but this victory was much more comfortable.
"Normally when I come here I usually find I need a few matches to get adjusted," said Murray, who lost to seven-time defending champion Rafael Nadal in last year's semifinals. "But I played very well, it was a very good first match."
Murray had spent a few days practicing on clay in Florida before heading to the Mediterranean.
"The sooner I can get on this surface for me the better," Murray said. "It was good that I stayed in the States and actually got sort of four or five days on the clay there before coming (here). I was sliding pretty well on the court. Normally that's the thing that takes time to get used to.
"I wasn't getting that many free points with the serve. I was using it more to set the way I was playing the points up rather than going for free points, which sometimes on this court is important."
Murray didn't face a single break point in improving to 6-0 against Troicki.
He led 4-0 in the opening set after 17 minutes and closed it out by sending a forehand down the line. The Briton broke twice in the second set, sealing victory when Troicki's backhand went wide.
Murray is being helped with his clay game by coach Ivan Lendl, who won three French Opens in eight grand slam titles plus two Monte Carlo Masters among his 94 career victories.
"He only arrived this morning so he's getting no credit for today," Murray joked. "But he'll help me (over) the next five, six weeks."
Murray next plays either Austria's Jurgen Melzer or Julien Benneteau of France.