Andy Murray maintained his unbeaten run as he defeated Ivo Karlovic at the Japan Open in his first match back after winning the US Open.
The 25-year-old Briton got a workout in the first set against the towering Croat but edged a tie-break 9-7 with a running forehand down the line.
Murray went 0-40 up in the 10th game of the second set and converted his third match point to wrap up a 7-6 6-4 win.
Next up for the defending champion is Slovakian Lukas Lacko.
The world number 65 beat Spain's Albert Ramos 6-0 6-2 in round one.
The Tokyo tournament is another key event for Murray, who is eager to round off his career-best season on a high.
The world number three beat Rafael Nadal from a set down in last year's final and is now building towards the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals in London starting on 3 November.
The 25-year-old said in Japan that winning his first grand slam in New York has seen him re-evaluate his approach to each tournament.
"I was so, I don't want to say 'obsessed' with winning a grand slam, but it was so important to me," Murray said.
"Sometimes during the year in certain matches I haven't done myself justice. I felt after the US Open that I needed to reset some goals.
"I was always focusing on the next grand slam rather than every tournament and every match I played.
"Now I feel like I can hopefully concentrate better, take more responsibility for my performances in every tournament throughout the year."
It was a straightforward first-round win for Murray against Karlovic, who had only entered the Japan tournament as a lucky loser after Gael Monfils withdrew because of an injury.
The match was dominated by serves with Karlovic thundering over 16 aces, while Murray did not face a single break point.
Murray is also aiming to defend the doubles crown he won in Japan with his elder brother Jamie.