Murray magic returns in Rome
He beat Andreas Seppi for the loss of just six games with a stylish display full of vitality and variety. Best of all, we were able to welcome back an old friend - the Murray backhand.
The world number five pumped them up the line with his strong two-hander, he guided them cross court with spin, he even produced one low volley from a deep position which spun over the head of Seppi for a winner.
Murray was back to winning ways with a 6-2 6-4 win over Seppi
The Italian may have fluked a spectacular through-the-legs shot near the end but Murray's artistic impression was better. This was a fine performance that, thankfully, put an end to the losing sequence and questions about his form.
After losing to Robin Soderling at the quarter-final stage in Indian Wells, defeats to Mardy Fish in Miami and Philipp Kohlschreiber in Monte Carlo were peculiar offerings from the normally reliable British number one.
It had been four years since a similar sequence of three reverses in a row. But here in the Italian capital Murray began resolutely, refusing to miss, going for old fashioned line and length. By starting with the basics, he was able to build a formidable performance that Seppi never got close to matching.
Murray may play David Ferrer in the next round, a fine clay-courter from Spain who faces Potito Starace on Wednesday. This remains a tough tournament for Murray to win due to the quality which invades every section of the draw.
At least he has been able to celebrate the feeling of converting a match point here at the Foro Italico for the first time. The ace to do it summed up the excellence of the evening.