Finally pain-free, Lleyton Hewitt served up a warning to his Australian Open rivals when he upset Canadian world No.15 Milos Raonic at the Kooyong Classic.
Hewitt, whose ranking of 82 leaves him at the mercy of the Open draw, was out to prove he could tangle with anyone in the early rounds at Melbourne Park next week.
The 31-year-old, who defeated Raonic in their only previous meeting at last year's Australian Open, turned on a three-set boilover to prevail 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), at a windswept Kooyong.
Winner of the Kooyong title two years ago, Hewitt said his first lead-up match provided him with the competition and confidence he needed leading into his Open campaign.
"It was good but obviously they were really tough conditions for everyone out there," Hewitt said.
"But that's what you come to expect coming to Kooyong and centre court - it's always tough with the wind.
"It's sort of blustery and very tough to get a guide on actually which way it's going."
But he said playing well under the circumstances would be a benefit for next week's Australian Open.
"A lot of it is playing percentage tennis out there, but also you've got to hit your spots and (have) good movement and mental toughness."
Hewitt said being able to tame the big Canadian's serve also gave him cause for optimism.
"You feel like you get a lot of half chances out there and he takes them away from you straight away, so to keep plugging away and keep giving yourself those opportunities, is the perfect kind of preparation and hitout that I needed."
Earlier, former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro defeated Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 3-6, 7-7 (7-3).