After learning that he had moved above Rafael Nadal to a lofty third in the current ATP world rankings, Andy Murray 'celebrated' today by clinching his place in the second round of the prestigious Dubai tournament, beating Gilles Muller in straight sets. His ranking is the highest he has achieved since soaring to number two in 2013, when he famously beat Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, and is a just reward after his come back from back surgery had resulted in him falling out of the top ten in the world.

The 27-year-old Murray knows that he needs to find his 'A' game this week, to have any chance of succeeding in the later stages, given that most of the top seeds are also in the competition, including both Djokovic and Roger Federer.

He also knows that saving energy by reducing time on court in the early rounds, is also essential in the Dubai heat.

So far, so good on all fronts after his match with the big serving Luxembourg number one, Muller. Breaks of service are often hard to come by against his opponent, but he will have been pleased to successfully navigate his way to a 6-4 7-5 success in one hour and 45 minutes of play.

Murray will face Joao Sousa from Portugal in the second round, a player he defeated on his way to this year's Australian Open final recently.

There was not so good news for fellow Brit James Ward, as his compatriot departed the event in the first round proper, when Feliciano Lopez of Spain beat him 6-4 6-4.

Ward had however come through two qualifying rounds just to reach the main draw, so can find some solace in that achievement, despite no doubt being deeply frustrated at not progressing further.

Both Andy and his elder brother Jamie have been named in Britain's Davis Cup team to face the United States next month in Glasgow, GB's first World Group contest on home soil since 1999. The selection opens up the interesting possibility of the two brothers pairing up in the doubles, where they could expect to face the indefatigable Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, the top pairing in the world. Ward seems likely to play the second singles matches for GB behind Murray (junior), as Dom Inglot completes the team.