Andy Murray began his brief winter indoor swing with a strong 6-3, 6-2 win over the dangerous Nicolas Mahut in the first round at Rotterdam.
The top-seeded Murray, who won the title in 2009, was playing his first match since the Australian Open final 10 days ago.
“Today I served well when I was behind up until the second to last service game,” Murray said. “I was down break points in the first three service games of the second set and came up with some big serves when I needed them. Hopefully I can do a little bit better tomorrow.”
Murray will face Vasek Pospisil tomorrow.
Stan Wawrinka was also a winner, needing three sets to oust Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
“It was a tough one,” Wawrinka said. “It’s never easy. You need to adapt to the conditions. It was an up and down match. I didn’t play my best game, but it’s good to win and get one more chance to play better tomorrow.”
Wawrinka, now ranked No. 8, will meet Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in second round play on Thursday.
Grigor Dimitrov saved a handful of matchpoints late against Gilles Muller, but it wasn’t enough as Muller, who never lost serve in the match, overcame a mini-break down to run the last three points of the match to win 6-2, 7-6(8) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Gael Monfils, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Andreas Seppi were also winners.
Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic are also in action on Thursday.
In Antwerp, top seed Genie Bouchard opens against Mona Barthel. No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber will face former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
Bouchard will debut with new coach Sam Sumyk who use to be on Victoria Azarenka’s team.
“I’ve just started working with Sam. We’ve spent some time training in Montréal the past week or so, and now we’re here for our first tournament together,” said Bouchard. “I really respect him as a coach – he’s done great things. Nothing is guaranteed, but I hope he can help me improve and help me reach my goals.
“When I was looking for a coach I wanted someone who’s played or who’s been coaching someone who’d been there, getting to No.1 or winning Grand Slams, and he’s done that. He’s what I wanted.”
Early results in Memphis saw Sam Querrey ending the run of 18-year-old Jared Donaldson while 24-year-old American qaulifier Austin Krajicek stunned Ivo Karlovic in three. Top seed Kei Nishikori was in a third set with Ryan Harrison. John Isner plays tonight.
“It was a great match,” said Krajicek. “Obviously, Ivo has an amazing serve, so you don’t have a whole lot of chances. I played a really good tie-break in the first set… I tried to take what I could control, and I just got a little lucky there at the end.
“I’ve been working really hard for the last couple of years… Just being around the tour more and more, you kind of get some belief and know that you can play with these guys… It’s just a matter of time, just putting in the work and waiting for your time to play well, and today I think I capitalised pretty well and played a good match.”
THURSDAY ROTTERDAM SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
J. Chardy (FRA) vs  G. Simon (FRA)
 T. Berdych (CZE) vs A. Seppi (ITA)
 A. Murray (GBR) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
A Qureshi (PAK) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs  J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU)
Not Before 7:30 pm
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
S. Bolelli (ITA) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
COURT 1 start 4:00 pm
 R Bopanna (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) vs D Inglot (GBR) / F Mergea (ROU)
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