World number one Andy Murray progressed to the third round of the Madrid Open with a straight-set victory over Romanian Marius Copil.
The 29-year-old Briton, who had a first-round bye, won 6-4 6-3.
Murray was not at his best early on but broke world number 104 Copil at 5-4 to take the first set and pounced again at 3-2 in the second.
He will face Croat Borna Coric or Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the last 16.
Following his victory, Murray told BBC Sport: “The last few weeks my serve hasn’t gone particularly well.
“Obviously when I was coming back from my elbow injury that was the one thing that I wasn’t able to practise in my time off and that showed a bit in my matches.
“I was broken six times in one match, seven in another. I wanted to come here, serve a little bit better and I did that today.
“Today was the start and I have to get better, but at least I gave myself the chance to play another match in a couple of days. It is a very, very important period of the year.”
It was a solid display from Murray against a potentially dangerous opponent as he prepares for the French Open, which starts on 28 May.
Copil will move into the world’s top 100 next week, and the 6ft 4in Romanian was the more aggressive player in the first set.
It took Murray until the 10th game to break his serve, and he finally prevailed through attacking Copil’s shaky backhand.
The Briton looked far more focused in the second set as he wrapped up victory in one hour and 23 minutes – with just nine unforced errors and without facing a break point.
Mixed fortunes on clay
Murray reached the final in Madrid last year, losing to Novak Djokovic, and took the title in 2015, but has so far had a mixed clay-court season.
The Scot was beaten by Austrian Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open last month.