ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AFP) – Andy Murray rebounded nicely from his Australian Open disappointment as the Scot defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the second round of the ATP Rotterdam World Tennis event.
The world number four who lost the Grand Slam title bid 10 days ago to Novak Djokovic, hammered the 109th-ranked Mahut to hand the Frenchman a 30th career defeat by a top 10 player.
While the Scot eased through in 93 minutes, fourth seed Stan Wawrinka had to overcome a second-set blip in which which his game went completely off the boil before finally recovering to defeat Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Even then Wawrinka needed six match points to seal victory over a player ranked a lowly 248th in the world in just over an hour-and-a-half.
Wawrinka, ranked ninth in the world, will next play Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who beat Uzbek Denis Istomin 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
Murray, the 2009 champion at the Ahoy Stadium, was never in trouble against Mahut, whose sole victory over the Scotsman was a shock first round win on grass at Queen’s club in 2012.
Murray moved into a second-round match with Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
The last game of the evening saw Gilles Muller beat fifth seed and 2013 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 7-6 (10/8) with each man firing 11 aces.
Muller, who beat John Isner at the Australian Open before losing in the fourth round to Djokovic, eased to victory against the talented but inconsistent Bulgarian in 85 minutes.