Andy Murray recovered from a third-set wobble to defeat qualifier Vincent Millot and reach the third round of the Australian Open.
The fourth seed was not at his best in very humid conditions under the lights on Rod Laver Arena and, after two comfortable sets, surprisingly found himself 5-1 down in the third against a suddenly inspired opponent.
But the Wimbledon champion saved a set point and reeled off six games in a row - including a run of 23 unanswered points - to triumph 6-2 6-2 7-5 and set up a third-round clash with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
The roof, which had been closed first for heat and then rain, opened as Murray and Millot warmed up.
The Frenchman, a qualifier ranked 267, was playing by far the biggest match of his career and he quickly looked out of his depth.
Murray, playing his fourth competitive match since back surgery, broke in the opening game and then again to lead 3-0 despite not having hit a single winner.
Millot’s play in the fourth game suggested he may have been affected by nerves to start with as he took advantage of two double faults from Murray to break serve.
The Scot looked less than impressed and went on the attack, breaking again with a precision backhand winner down the line.
Murray had a set point on the Millot serve but did not take it, and then saw three more go begging, one with his fourth double fault of the match.
A let court robbed him of an ace on his fifth chance but he dismissively placed the ball in the other corner moments later.
Murray, who had played very well in his first-round demolition of Go Soeda, did not appear to be enjoying the experience very much while Millot was growing into the match.
But there was a huge gulf in class between them and it was just a matter of when that told.
Millot was going for broke and it cost him in the third game of the second set, while Murray broke again to lead 4-1.
Millot, who once harboured hopes of following his father into professional football, held for 5-2 but then took a medical time-out to have his calf rubbed.
The 27-year-old played for more than three hours in beating Wayne Odesnik in the worst of the heat on Tuesday for his first grand slam victory.
After the stoppage, Murray came out to serve for the set and won the game to love.
If Millot was tired, he did not show it at the start of the third set, though, continuing to scamper around the baseline for everything.
And he got his reward with a break of the Murray serve to lead 3-1, the crowd warming to the effort and commitment to attack of the Frenchman.
Suddenly, Millot was hitting winner after winner, and a netted Murray backhand put the qualifier into a 5-1 lead.
The fourth seed saved a set point and clawed one break back and, as suddenly as it had arrived, Millot’s confidence seemed to drain away.
Murray retrieved the second break to get back on serve, and from there on it was a procession for the Scot as he wrapped up victory after two hours and a minute.