Andy Murray was happy to silence his critics at least for one day as he put on a brilliant display of grass-court tennis to brush aside Nikolay Davydenko in the opening round of Wimbledon.
The world number four, a 6-1 6-1 6-4 winner, has had to wait two weeks for another competitive outing since going out of the AEGON Championships at Queen's Club in his first match.
The grey skies over Centre Court also ensured Murray's focus never wavered.
The spotlight is always on the Scot in the build-up to Wimbledon, of course, but this year the talk of a potential victory has been dampened down and a debate about Murray's on-court demeanour has taken its place
The 25-year-old battled a back injury very publicly at the French Open earlier this month and John McEnroe and Virginia Wade were both less than complimentary about Murray, who angrily dismissed claims he was exaggerating the problem.
Davydenko then weighed into the debate by saying other players laugh at Murray for his behaviour when physically troubled, while the Russian also said his rival did not have what it takes to win a grand slam.
Murray said: "If someone doesn't want you to do well, then it's nice to play well, of course. Every week going into Wimbledon, the week beforehand, there's talk about all sorts of things. It's not this one more than any other one.
"It's just something where, because I didn't do well at Queen's, it's been a lot longer to get through all the practice days and the preparation and all the other stuff that goes on. I'm glad I played well.
"I haven't heard anything that has been said the last few days. I just wanted to go out there today, play well, keep my focus, and not worry about the other stuff. I think I did a good job of that. It's time to let the tennis do the talking."
Few sportsmen divide Britain like Murray, and the Scot does not expect one good performance to persuade too many people to change their minds about him.
He said: "I don't think that today's win stops that. The way that you stop getting asked questions or have people doubting you is by playing tennis and winning tennis matches. That's what I need to do the rest of the tournament."
Murray's defeat by Nicolas Mahut at Queen's meant he went into Wimbledon without a victory on grass since last year's tournament, when he reached the semi-finals for the third year in a row.
But he looked on the money from the start, breaking the Davydenko serve for the first time in the third game and wrapping up the opening set with a sixth successive game.
Everything in the Murray game was working well, but particularly his backhand slice and forehand, with which he powered winner after winner past Davydenko.
The Russian, a former world number three but now ranked 47th, finally stopped the rot after nine games in a row but he simply had no real answer.
Although his best days look to be behind him, Davydenko was still potentially a tricky opponent, with the 31-year-old having won the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals the first year it was held in London in 2009.
Astonishingly Murray made not a single unforced error in the first two sets and, although he could not quite maintain that standard in the third, he was still far too good and moves forward to a second-round clash with either giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic or Israel's Dudi Sela.
Murray pointed to the sky at the end of the match but did not want to elaborate on what it meant, saying only: "It's something for me and the guys that I work with."
The fourth seed was delighted with his form, adding: "It was a good start, and I knew obviously when I drew him I was going to need to start the tournament well, playing good tennis.
"I struck the ball well. Obviously with the rain and stuff today, there was a chance we might have to play under the roof or there might be some stop-starting.
"So, once I got ahead, I really tried to keep it up and I did a good job. I just wanted to go and play. I wanted to play tennis, that was it.
"He's very, very dangerous. He's a very good returner as well. I needed to stay concentrated on my serve, and I did it well."
Davydenko has never been past the fourth round at Wimbledon and he admitted he had been left with little chance to recover after Murray's fast start.
"He played fast, he served well, he pushed me back on the return, he made less mistakes," said the Russian.
"It's always what he does. And I started to make mistakes from the baseline, I felt like I had no confidence.
"In the third set I relaxed a little bit and I tried to get a bit more control from the baseline but it was tough. I don't like so much to play on grass."