Andy Murray got his Wimbledon title defense off to a strong start on Monday in a rain-interrupted victory at the All England Club in London.
The Scot improved to 54-9 at the Grand Slam event, where he captured the 2013 and 2016 titles, with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Bublik of Russia on Centre Court.
The 30-year-old world No. 1, who came into the grass-court tournament slowed by a hip injury, hit 29 winners and maintained his form either side of a rain break in the third set to win in one hour, 43 minutes.
"With the adrenaline, it helps numb some pain that you might have and I moved well today," Murray told BBC Sport afterwards. "I thought I did pretty well for the first match."
Murray continued to limp between points as he had since resuming practice on Friday. He lost in the first round at Queen's Club two weeks ago and then picked up the hip injury which forced him to withdraw from two exhibition matches and curtail his practice.
The 20-year-old Bublik, ranked No. 135, started in a confident manner by keeping the points short, but could not convert two break-point opportunities in the first game.
Murray soon seized control. From 1-1 in the first set to a 2-0 lead in the second set, he won seven straight games.
Rain at the start of the third set saw the players head off Centre Court -- the roof was kept open -- and back to the locker room. After a 34-minute interruption, Murray resumed with a 2-0 lead and broke again in the seventh game to complete the victory.
"I wasn't thinking about the rain too much. I felt comfortable underfoot today," Murray said. "In the first few days, normally the court is a bit lush and can be a bit slippery, but I didn't feel like I was losing my footing at all."
Murray has a 30-0 record at the Grand Slam championships against players outside of the top 100 in the ATP Rankings.
Murray will next face Germany's Dustin Brown, who beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Brown has lost his only match against Murray, but he will be hoping to draw on memories of his 2015 Wimbledon second-round win over Rafael Nadal.
"Either way he's the favorite," Brown said. "I can be pretty relaxed and try and play my game. If I lose in three sets no one is going to worry. I will just go out there and try my best."
Earlier in the day, ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan wasted little time in recording his 30th grass-court victory with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 win over Marco Cecchinato of Italy in 72 minutes. Nishikori converted seven of his nine break point opportunities and hit 35 winners.
Nishikori will next meet France's Julien Benneteau or Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine in the second round.
"This is the only Grand Slam that I haven't done well in," Nishikori said. "I have never made it to the quarterfinals. That's always my motivation, to get into the second week. I think the past couple of years, I been playing well on grass. I'm fit again, so I hope I can make it."
French No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through his 150th Grand Slam championship match (113-37) in fine form when he struck 30 winners, including eight aces, in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over wild card Cameron Norrie of Britain in 88 minutes.
Tsonga will now face Italian Simone Bolelli, who beat Yen-Hsun Lu Taipei 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
"It's never easy at the start of a tournament," Tsonga said. "The first round, you're looking for something, for a good level of tennis. Today, I had the possibility to work on my game and see how it went."
Meanwhile, the disappointment was etched all over Nick Kyrgios' face. Having sustained a left hip injury at the Aegon Championships two weeks ago, the Australian No. 20 seed had worked tirelessly to get fully fit for Wimbledon.
On Monday, Kyrgios found that time had run out when he fell behind 6-3, 6-4 and retired from the match.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France was solid on serve -- losing just five of his first service points -- in 58 minutes of play, before Kyrgios called time on the first-round match.
"I kind of knew I was in trouble," said Kyrgios, the 2014 quarterfinalist. "I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen's. I never got it right. I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time.
"I thought I could win. Obviously, probably not against him, but some opponents if I played them today, I probably still could have won. ... I could feel it a lot. It was hindering my performance a lot."
Herbert will next meet fellow countryman Benoit Paire, who grounded out a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10), 6-4 win over Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil.