Andy Murray advanced to the second round of the Madrid Open by convincingly defeating Dominic Thiem, the 2020 US Open champion. The outstanding Briton won the first-round match 6-3 6-4, his first win on clay since June 2017.
Thiem, the former world number three, is making a comeback after an eight-month layoff due to a wrist injury, but Murray proved to be the superior player. They hugged at the end, with Murray telling Thiem: "Keep going. It takes a lot of time but you'll be fine."
He added: "I hope you feel better soon mate. Great to see you back."
After Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, and wildcard Jack Draper advanced earlier, the 34-year-old is the fourth British man into the second round. Murray won both sets by a break, with Austrian Thiem's forehand in especially causing him problems.
Thiem, who is now ranked 91st in the world, was playing his fourth match of the year, having returned in March, but had yet to win. Murray had intended to forego the clay-court season, but when he accepted a wildcard for Madrid last month, he changed his mind.
Murray will face Denis Shapovalov, the 14th seed from Canada, who defeated him at Wimbledon last year.