Britain level in Croatia
Andy Murray made a winning return to Great Britain's Davis Cup team but Dan Evans went down in straight sets as Croatia levelled the world group play-off at 1-1 after the opening day in Umag.
World No.3 Murray beat Croat teenager Borna Coric 6-3 6-0 6-3 in the opening singles before Evans - fresh from his run to the third round of the US Open - was crushed by Ivan Dodig in a similarly one-sided rubber.
Murray, in his first appearance in the competition for two years, eased to a straight-sets win over his 16-year-old opponent, who is the reigning US Open junior champion.
The only major moments of discomfort for Murray were a couple of back twinges as he gradually wore down Coric on the clay of the Stadion Stella Maris.
"The first five or six games were tough," said Murray. "I wanted to try and make the points long and make it challenging for him physically, which I did, but I missed a few shots early on, maybe playing with too much spin.
"Once I got the break, I then won quite a few games in a row, but lost concentration at the start of the third. It's okay. It will get better.
"But he was solid. He didn't make many mistakes, fought for every point, and when he gets physically stronger he is going to be a very tough player."
In the opening exchanges, Coric was far from overawed in facing the Wimbledon champion as Murray was taken to break point in his first service game, only saving on the back of a remarkable 57-shot rally.
Coric then saved three break points of his own when serving at 1-2 as he displayed maturity beyond his years, before scaring Murray again in game number five.
From 40-0, Murray faced a second break point, notably on the back of poor first serves and a weak forehand, but was again able to save.
With Coric's inferior fitness beginning to tell, particularly given the length of the rallies on the slower clay court, Murray finally took control at 4-3, first breaking and then holding to love to take the set 6-3.
Murray showed his class in the second set, taking it to love for the loss of just eight points.
After losing 10 straight games, Coric held at the start of the third in which he found his second wind, breaking Murray for a 3-1 lead and with a point for 4-1.
But the Scot, despite feeling his back on occasion, staged his own fightback to wrap up the set 6-3, and with it the match.
With regard to his back, Murray added: "It's a little bit sore. The surface change for me (after recently competing on the hard court at the US Open) is a difficult one. I've a couple of matches left and then some time to rest. Hopefully we can get the win this weekend."
British No.2 Evans was no match for Dodig later in the day, going down 6-3 6-2 6-3.
From 3-2 and going with serve in the first set, world No. 35 Dodig proved too strong. The 28-year-old took control by reeling off four straight games and there was no looking back.
Evans had a rare sniff of a break in the first game of the second set, but from 2-2 it then went the same way as the first as Dodig again won four successive games.
From 2-2 in the third, the 28-year-old Dodig seemed set to repeat the trick only for Evans to save two match points on his own serve when trailing 5-2.
But it proved a short reprieve for Evans as Dodig served out for a comprehensive victory after just one hour and 47 minutes, and set up what could be a definitive doubles clash.