The US Open champion took himself to task on court during the second set of his third round clash against practice partner Ricardas Berankis, cajoling himself to "show something" before he ran out a 6-3 6-4 7-5 winner.
He also said courtside afterwards that he had been frustrated with some of his shotmaking, but after the heat of the moment had passed, the Briton said there was nothing frustrating about winning, however ugly.
"Nothing's frustrating me. I won in straight sets my first three matches," said the world number three, who will meet Frenchman Gilles Simon in the fourth round.
"Every player wants to hit the ball well every day if they can but the reality is it isn't always going to happen.
"So I'm aware I'll need to improve. But you also don't necessarily want to be playing your best tennis the first round of a grand slam or of any tournament.
"You want to try and improve as the matches go on (and) I'm sitting here happy that I'm through to the fourth round having not having played my best tennis.
"Hopefully I'll improve for the next one."
The pair have practised together several times in Australia over the past two years and the Lithuanian qualifier exploited that knowledge to change his pace, shots and angles to effect Murray's timing.
"Sometimes when you play someone in a match you never played before, sometimes things you do on the court may surprise them a bit at the beginning of the match and vice versa," said Murray.
"Whereas today there's not really as many surprises. They know the things you do well. They know the things they can try and exploit."
Berankis, who missed three months last year due to surgery on a hernia, had beaten Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round and then upset 25th seed Florian Mayer in the second and his unorthodox approach appeared to bother Murray.
Several times he flubbed shots and left the ball too short against the 22-year-old, eliciting face grimaces, thigh thumps and one smack of his racquet into the bright blue court from the Scotsman.
"Yeah, it was a tough match. He takes the ball very early, hits the ball very flat compared to most players on the tour," Murray said.
"And when the ball is between his hips and his shoulder, he hits the ball extremely well. He's got very good timing. He made it tough."
Murray next plays 14th seed Gilles Simon after he defeated Gael Monfils in an epic five-set thriller puncuated by a 71-shot rally.
Laura Robson exited the women's draw in the third round after a 7-5 6-3 loss to friend and American 29th seed Sloane Stephens.
"Last year I lost here 6-2 6-0 first round," said Robson. "It's a massive improvement.
"There are still so many things that can be worked on but I toughed out two wins and today I thought Sloane played pretty well. So it was still a pretty good tournament."
Robson, who caught the imagination by dumping out former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in round two, found herself 4-0 down in the first set while struggling with shoulder and neck injuries.
She broke back for 4-1 before receiving treatment on-court, the first of several visits from the doctor.
With her arm then loosening up she was able to finish off the points she was already setting up and got back to 4-4.
The crowd on Court 2 were right behind the Briton - who turns 19 on Monday - but a huge first serve from Stephens, 19, closed out the following game. Robson then went two set points down, saving both before levelling again on games with a deep backhand.
She went 40-0 down on the Stephens serve before finding her range to win two points, only to volley into the net and again fall behind.
This time when Stephens set up a set point - drawing a low forehand into the net from the Briton - she took full advantage, finding the baseline with a cross court backhand to force Robson to loop her forehand response long.
The first three games of the second set went with serve before Stephens won the crucial break. Robson, already committing errors before the service game, overhit a lob to settle the scores on deuce; three further deuces later Stephens sealed the game.
Both ladies made best use of their first serve to hold games from there, although Robson had two points to break in the final game. Unable to take advantage of them, she also saved match point during the deuce exchange before finally sending a forehand well wide to end her campaign.
Stephens will face either 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan or Serbian Bojana Jovanovski in round four.
"Honestly I haven't played my best tennis," Stephens said. "Sometimes it's just going to be like that. Sometimes it's going to be ugly and you just have to work your way through.
"It hasn't been the prettiest, but mentally it's been beautiful."
Robson committed 47 unforced errors in the match, twice as many as Stephens. The pair attended the same tennis academy and have been friends since the age of 12.
"We're turning into the Fed-Nadal rivalry," Stephens said. "When I saw the (small) court, I was like, 'wow, really, we're on this court?' I mean, it is what it is (but) I don't think we'll play that court ever again."
- Sports & Recreation