Andy Murray recorded his first victory since back surgery in convincing fashion against Stanislas Wawrinka in Abu Dhabi.
The Wimbledon champion looked pretty sharp as he saw off world number eight Wawrinka 6-3 6-4 to finish fifth at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition.
Murray had opened his season on Boxing Day with defeat by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his first proper match since helping Great Britain beat Croatia to reach the Davis Cup World Group in September.
He had a minor operation on a long-standing back problem later that month, bringing an early end to his season.
After training hard in Miami over the past six weeks, Murray was happy with his fitness against Tsonga and he looked to have shaken off some of the rust when he faced Wawrinka.
The world number four got the better of three successive breaks to take the first set and then forged ahead again with a break for 4-3 in the second.
Wawrinka saved a match point on his own serve with a forehand winner but Murray confidently served out the victory and then declared himself pleased with the way his back has responded to playing matches again.
Speaking on court, the 26-year-old said: “I feel pretty good, a lot better than I did a few months ago. I just need to play more matches like this because the intensity’s a lot higher than you can get in practice.
“It was good to get two matches against top players. Everyone needs matches at this stage, especially me. It’s been a perfect start and hopefully I’ll get better.”
Murray now makes the short trip to Doha for next week’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open, where he will start his ATP World Tour season alongside world number one Rafael Nadal.