World number one Andy Murray was made to work for his place in the second round of the Australian Open after battling past Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko in straight sets.
This was Murray’s first Grand Slam match since his promotion to the number one status, however he didn’t have it all his own way in a 7-5 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory which lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes on the opening day of the tournament.
Marchenko, the world number 95, broke the Murray serve in the opening game of the match and did so again when the Brit was serving for the first set.
The top seed appeared to struggle with the hot and humid conditions in Melbourne which appeared to favour the Ukrainian’s aggressive style.
However, after two tight sets it was all Murray in the third as he set up a meeting with Russian teenager Andrey Rublev in round two.
"I don't think it was the best match," said the three-time major champion after the match. "The conditions were pretty different to what we've been practising in.
"Last week's been pretty cool. When it's like that, the ball is bouncing a bit lower and it is a bit easier to control. I was a bit tentative because of that,” he added
"I didn't serve that well either. So you end up having to work really hard on a lot of your service games when it's like that."
Evans progresses but Bedene crashes out
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, British number three Dan Evans – who reached the final of the ATP 250 event in Sydney last week- reached the second round after a straight set victory over Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis.
Evans, who is at a career-high of 51 in the world, saved three set points in an opening set tie-break before eventually prevailing 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 6-1 in an hour and 55 minutes.
The Brit will now face seventh seed Marin Cilic in round two.
Britain’s number four Aljaz Bedene had less joy, as he was beaten 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 0-6 6-3 by 36-year-old Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos.
Wawrinka and Nishikori go the distance as Kyrgios coasts through
Four-time champion Roger Federer also progressed on the opening day after a 7-5 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory over Austrian Jurgen Melzer.
Meanwhile, third seed Stan Wawrinka needed five sets to defeat Slovakia's Martin Klizan, while fifth seed Kei Nishikori also needed to go the distance to get past Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.
Home favourite Nick Kyrgios had no such problem as he swept aside world number 77 Gastao Elias 6-1 6-2 6-2 in just 84 minutes.