World number four Andy Murray brushed aside Viktor Troicki 6-0 6-3 with consummate ease to get his clay-court season off to a blistering start at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Murray, who received a bye through to the second round, stormed through the opening set without losing a single game and continued his fine form into the second, breaking early again before closing the match out in confident fashion.
The third seed, who was playing for the first time since reaching his 10th career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Miami - where he was defeated by Novak Djokovic - never looked troubled by his opponent and immediately found a good rhythm on both his serve and groundstrokes.
The British number one has always had Troicki’s number, winning all four of their previous meetings; the only time Troicki came close to beating Murray came at their only previous clay court meeting at Roland Garros last year. The Serb has now lost his last 24 matches against top 10 players.
Murray seized the initiative in the opening game of the match as he broke Troicki’s serve with two huge forehand winners and capitalised on an ill-advised drop shot from the Serb.
Troicki was unable to get any kind of foothold in the set as he proceeded to see his serve taken apart once more by the ruthless Murray, who found a good rhythm on his opponent’s delivery.
A third successive break of serve followed for Murray as he established a convincing lead, and the Brit served out for the set with a comfortable hold as an ignominious set for Troicki was brought to an abrupt end.
An ironic cheer from the sparsely populated Court Central greeted a belated service hold from a fired up Troicki at the start of the second set, and suddenly the Serb appeared to have found some belief.
But Murray again stamped his authority on proceedings with an authoritative break of serve in the third game of the set as he capitalised on two crucial unforced errors from his opponent.
Troicki, determined to restore some pride and salvage a respectable scoreline, battled through a gruelling second service hold after a seemingly interminable deuce to reduce the deficit but never looked on the same level as Murray.
One further service hold was mustered by the increasingly despondent Troicki, before Murray closed out a convincing victory with another crushing break.
Ivan Lendl led the ovation for the world number four as he left the court, and it could hardly have been a more impressive start to his season on the red surface.
Murray will next take on either Julien Benneteau of France or Austria’s Jurgen Melzer in the third round as he looks to continue his confident start to the clay-court campaign in Monaco.