Britain’s Andy Murray produced a near-faultless performance to open his Wimbledon campaign with a crushing victory over Nikolay Davydenko.
Fourth seed Murray dominated the former world number three with a succession of huge serves and pinpoint forehands to prevail 6-1 6-1 6-4 in 92 minutes.
It was his first win on grass this year and he showed no signs of injury.
Murray was given a standing ovation by the Centre Court crowd and will play Ivo Karlovic or Dudi Sela on Thursday.
He pointed to the sky in celebration and will be delighted with the result, which got his seventh appearance at the All England Club off to a perfect start.
“The first two sets were very good, I got off to a great start,” Murray told BBC Sport immediately after the match.
“Since Queen’s I’ve been itching to get going and I’m glad to get out of the blocks quickly. I was hitting the ball very cleanly from the beginning and I hit my slice very well, which is important against Davydenko.
“I’ve got to be ready for the next match – if it’s Karlovic I have to strike the ball and serve well.”
Murray is once again bidding to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam title, and on this evidence he will launch another strong challenge.
“I settle into matches a bit quicker than I used to,” the 25-year-old continued. “The last couple of weeks have been hard.
“I’ve been desperate to get going because there’s so much talk. It’s never easy playing in the first round at Wimbledon, but it was a good start.”
Murray has reached the last three Wimbledon semi-finals and his bid to go at least that far in 2012 began well.
The Scot’s serve clicked from the outset as he held to love with an ace and followed it up by breaking Davydenko when the Russian put a backhand wide.
He moved to 4-1 with an outstanding backhand winner – after two unstoppable crosscourt forehands – and struck for the third time to seal a 30-minute first set.
Davydenko had won four of their nine previous meetings but none of those came on grass and the 31-year-old has still never been past the fourth round at SW19.
The latest in a catalogue of forehand winners saw Murray break to 15 for a 2-0 lead in the second set, consolidated by holding to love with a booming ace.
Murray looked composed and focused on every point, combining subtle touch with ruthless power to destroy the resolve of his error-strewn opponent.
The fans roared their approval at an inside-out forehand winner that gave Murray a 5-1 lead and he served out to love with a backhand pass.
After more poor play in game one saw Davydenko surrender the third-set initiative, he finally showed glimpses of the form that brought him the 2009 ATP World Tour Finals title.
But by this stage Murray was in the zone and despite squandering two match points in game nine, he came through to love when Davydenko put a backhand long.