Andy Murray’s first match since splitting from coach Amelie Mauresmo ended in a routine 6-3 6-3 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in Rome.
Murray and Mauresmo confirmed the end of their near two-year partnership on Monday, a day after the Scot lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Madrid Open.
Assistant coach Jamie Delgado and Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith were in Murray’s box for his clash with Kukushkin in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
The two-time grand slam champion did not look overly comfortable in the early stages but his serve kept him out of trouble and he broke Kukushkin to lead 5-3 when the Kazakh missed an easy volley.
Murray moved ahead early in the second set and took his first match point after an hour and 24 minutes.
The Scot admitted he had found it difficult to adjust to the very different conditions from Madrid, and he told Sky Sports: “I served well.
“It’s tough to get much of a rhythm, it’s quite a breezy day. I didn’t feel that comfortable from the back of the court.”
Murray lost his world number two spot to Roger Federer on Monday but a good run in Rome would see him take it back in time for the French Open.
Murray is not anticipating having a new coach in place for Roland Garros and will mull over whether to go for another high-profile former player or a more technical coach.
He said: “I haven’t thought loads about it. The thing with the top players, the super coaches, is that experience around the major events and the big matches, understanding the stress and pressure and how to deal with that.
“Passing on their experiences is something I’ve benefited from over the last few years with my last few coaches.
“But I made some technical changes on my serve over the last couple of months and that’s made a huge difference to my game and taken my game up a level. The ex-players don’t tend to be technical coaches so it’s tough to pick.”
Murray will play either Roberto Bautista Agut or Jeremy Chardy in the third round.