In his only previous grand-slam encounter with Robin Haase, Murray had taken the most circuitous route possible to victory. On Rod Laver Arena this afternoon, though, the Scot rolled over the Dutchman in little over 90 minutes, sealing a spot in round two of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory.
Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open era to win his second major in the slam that immediately follows the first. That task was given impetus with two early breaks of serve amid the kind of searing backcourt play that can make grown opponents chew off their own racket arms.
Although an over-adventurous drop shot handed back a break, the number three seed rarely looked troubled, even as he staved off five break points to clinch the first set.
As Murray sent Haase from corner to corner in the second set, the look in the Dutchman’s eyes seemed to be saying ‘I didn’t sign up for anything like this’. The Scot wrapped up the set in just 23 minutes. Read more (105 words)
After Murray broke immediately in the third set, a minor lapse saw Haase break back, but the Scot broke again for the eighth time to seal the deal.
"I started the year well in Brisbane, but obviously coming into the Slams, the first match is normally pretty tough," said the Scot.
"There's nerves in the build-up. You've just got to try and focus and play solid, not make too many silly mistakes. I did a good job of that today. It's always nice to get through the first round of a tournament, but especially here."
Murray will play Joao Sousa of Portugal in round two.