Andy Murray provided Great Britain with the ideal start to their Davis Cup World Group playoff clash with Croatia by cantering to a 6-3 6-0 6-3 win over Borna Coric.
Croatia drew level in the second singles match of the day, as Dan Evans slipped to a 6-3 6-2 6-3 defeat to Ivan Dodig.
It was a baptism of fire for Coric, given he is a mere 16-years-old. However, he is rated extremely highly and won the US Open junior title this month.
But he was up against the reigning Wimbledon champion and it proved too tough a task for the teenager.
Murray, in what was his first Davis Cup outing in two years, was looking to pick himself up following his US Open disappointment earlier this month.
For six games, Coric matched Murray and he was roared on by a partisan crowd in Umag.
The youngster showed flashes of brilliance and in the opening game of the match the pair were involved in a 57-shot rally—three more than the epic point Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic served up in the US Open final.
Murray won that long point and it set the tone for the contest. The British No. 1 made the breakthrough in the eighth game—powering a forehand down the line to secure the break.
The second set proved one-way traffic with Murray racing through it with a bagel of Coric.
Coric steeled himself and held serve at the start of the third set. And in the fourth game the Croat whipped up the crowd by breaking Murray to move 3-1 ahead.
Murray did not let the lapse affect him and broke back immediately before powering through the remainder of the match to put GB&I 1-0 ahead—much to the delight of the travelling Brit fans.
Evans took on Croatian No. 1 Dodig, but could not contain his opponent as the home side drew level in the battle to reach the World Group.
The match is now tied at 1-1 ahead of the doubles that takes place on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday.