Andy Murray will have an old friend for company at the Australian Open after world No.246 Jamie Baker qualified to reach the main draw. The pair have known each other since 1995, the year Murray's mother, Judy, organised an under-nines tournament for the most promising tennis tots in Scotland.
Their careers have diverged somewhat since then: Murray has become a multi-millionaire while Baker is still scraping a living from Challenger tournaments. But they remain close, and Murray hosted Baker at his penthouse apartment in Miami last month as they prepared for the new season.
The presence of a fellow Scot in the first round can only contribute to the sense of serenity around the Murray camp, which feels quite different now that tennis's peskiest question - where is Fred Perry's successor, and why is he taking so long? - has finally been laid to rest. It is as if everyone has stopped listening to the Smiths and put on Katrina and the Waves instead.
On Saturday there were some high jinks in the interview room, when Murray's fitness trainer, Jez Green, had to perform a forfeit having lost a fitness challenge against Ivan Lendl. Climbing on to the stage, Green announced: ''I hereby acknowledge that Lendl is a far superior physical specimen to myself, despite a near 13-year age gap.''
All this levity led one reporter to ask whether Murray might be in danger of going in to his first-round match, against Holland's Robin Haase on Tuesday, without the usual focus? Should he not be a bit more revved up?
Murray replied in his usual monotone, but there was a hint of a bridle as he said: ''I'm very revved up. Yes, I do feel more relaxed than I have done the week before a slam in the past, and I think that's natural. But I didn't work hard in Miami in the off-season to come in and just not be focused, I didn't train over there for four weeks to come here and put in a really bad performance.''
Haase will be an awkward first-round opponent. In the second round of the 2011 US Open, he took a two-set lead against Murray before he was reeled in.
Afterwards, Murray admitted that he had not been sure how to go about things. ''I've seen him play matches where he's made hundreds of errors as well as matches where he's unbelievable for a few sets. It's quite difficult to get the tactics spot-on.''
Such indecision is unlikely to repeat itself on Tuesday, for the arrival of Lendl has helped Murray to simplify his tactical approach. Where previously he would be drawn into plotting and scheming and over-thinking, now he just tries to put his opponent down as quickly as possible.
While Murray was bullying his way to the US Open title in September, Baker was making about £500 ($765) a time from a series of Challenger tournaments in Turkey. At 21, Baker - who plays Lukas Rosol, the man who ousted Rafael Nadal from last year's Wimbledon, on Tuesday - had been a rising force. The last time he played in a grand slam outside of Wimbledon was here in 2008, when he beat Austria's Daniel Koellerer (later the world No.55) in the final round of qualifying.
But then, on a trip to Florida, he found strange things happening in his body. He was covered in bruises and his gums were bleeding excessively. At hospital he was told he had a rare and lethal virus called ITP.
Baker recovered, but his career has taken a long time to climb back. So his 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory against American Donald Young in qualifying was a spine-tingling moment for one of the sport's great strivers.
''The winter training I did with Andy was a massive factor,'' Baker said. ''I had 3½ weeks there; a huge amount of time to improve. We had some good stuff from Ivan too. He just says, 'Go out and win, go out and kill the guy'. And not as nicely as that, either.''