Andy Murray believes the manner of his victory over Kyle Edmund at the Citi Open in Washington was just as important as the result.
The former world No 1 prevailed 7-6 (7/4) 1-6 6-4 in the battle of the Brits to clinch the biggest win of his comeback from hip surgery.
Murray, now 832nd in the world rankings, was facing the man who replaced him as British number one and gained a measure of revenge for his straight-sets defeat to Edmund at Eastbourne in June.
It was another testing occasion for the Scot, who was taken to a decider for a second time this week having edged out Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.
But the 31-year-old was particularly encouraged by a more attacking display against his compatriot, telling the ATP Tour website: “It was much better, just in terms of the way I actually played the match.
“In the first match I basically spent the whole match defending, I was playing quite far behind the baseline. And that’s not really how I want to be playing moving forward.
Today, regardless of the result, we wanted to at least be dictating more points, trying to use my forehand, be closer to the baseline.Andy Murray
“I spoke at good length with my coach about that. Today, regardless of the result, we wanted to at least be dictating more points, trying to use my forehand, be closer to the baseline.
“I think I did that, especially in some of the important moments in the third set... I was being more offensive. I was a lot happier with the way I approached the match.”
Murray will take on Marius Copil in the last 16 after the Romanian knocked out Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-4.
Edmund, 23, from Beverley, said: “I gave my best of what I had on the day today. Just didn’t work out.
“It would have been nice to hold serve and maybe even control what I can and take (the third set) to a tie-break but it didn’t happen.”