Murray, the No. 4-ranked player in the world and seeded third at Doha, hadn't played since a Davis Cup qualifier in September. His last tournament was the U.S. Open as a back injury ended his season early.
Murray opened last season with a win at the Brisbane International but bypassed that stop for the tournament in Qatar. He routed Mousa Shanan Zayed, a wild-card entrant playing in his home country, 6-0, 6-0, in a first-round match.
Murray won 74 percent of the points in the match and dropped only eight -- three on double faults -- points on serve.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal claimed a 6-2, 7-6 (9-7) decision over Lukas Rosol, who famously upset Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in 2102. Nadal handled four of the five break chances for Rosol and cashing half of his six break opportunities.
No. 2-seeded David Ferrer needed three sets to get by Alexandr Gopolov 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Ferrer lost his serve four times in dropping the second set but not at all in the first and third sets.
Fifth-seeded Richard Gasquet overcame an early service break for a 7-5, 6-1 win over Karim Hossam while No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Pablo Andujar 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 and seventh-seeded Ernests Gulbis was a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 winner over Daniel Evans.