Andy Murray produced an uncertain display to reach the third round of the Australian Open despite a straight sets win over qualifier Vincent Millot.
The world No.4 claimed a 6-2 6-2 7-5 win to set up an eighth meeting on Saturday against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez for a place in the second week after being made to work by Millot.
Murray sporadically showed signs of struggling with a side problem – potentially linked to the back surgery he underwent in September – but the three-time finalist in Melbourne was too good for his French opponent despite requiring a herculean effort to win the third set.
"He was stepping right up the baseline on every shot and hitting winners," Murray said. "I had to adjust to the way I was playing a little bit. He shows what depth there is in the game right now and I thought he played a very good match."
In the biggest match of Millot's career, he naturally began with plenty of nerves and Murray refused to be forgiving, surging into a 3-0 lead with a double break as the Scot picked up from where he left off against Go Soeda in round one.
Both players had avoided the scorching heat which had temporarily forced play to be stopped earlier on day four, with the evening session allowing both players to produce an expansive brand of tennis.
Millot shrugged off the cobwebs to break back in game four only for Murray to again penetrate his opponents' serve and win three of the next four games to claim the opening set in 36 minutes in anything but vintage fashion.
Murray appeared to be suffering from a side problem through the start of the second set but the Wimbledon champion was still able to break Millot twice as he stormed into a two-set lead in under three quarters of an hour.
The world No.267 received treatment for a calf problem at the backend of the second set and the break worked to inspire the 27 year old at the start of the third.
After clinching a break following a string of Murray errors, Millot produced a cracking backhand winner to cement his advantage as he powered towards halving the deficit.
And another backhand return down the line helped secure a 5-1 lead but after Millot spurned a set point chance Murray hit back with two successive breaks to level the set as the nerves got to the second round debutant.
Millot was suddenly producing errors akin to a player outside the top 200 while Murray's standards dramatically improved, as a run of 23 consecutive points allowed the British No.1 to clinch the match as he continued his march in Australia.