Andy Murray says it feels no different to enter the Australian Open as the world number one. A few players do now address him as 'Sir' - but that, he says, is with tongue firmly in cheek.
The challenge, though, remains as tough as ever. Murray has lost five finals in Melbourne in the past seven years, while Novak Djokovic - now the number two - has won the title six times in all.
Murray struck an important blow by beating his lifelong rival at the World Tour Finals to end 2016 at the top of the rankings; but earlier this month, the Serb hit back to win the Qatar Open in Doha and halt Murray's winning streak at 28 in a match of nearly three hours.
Murray is expecting another gruelling clash should they meet in the final here in Melbourne on 29 January.
"The way that we both play, we can't just hit through each other in one shot," the Scot said.
"It takes a few big shots to win points, so if we're playing well they tend to be long, physical matches.
"Doha was good because I was able to see how well I recovered from it: first week of the year, you can be a bit stiff and sore. I pulled up pretty well, so it was positive."
Much may depend on the energy they expend in the early rounds of the competition. The draw does not appear to leave either at a significant advantage, so at 29, Murray has as good a chance as ever of winning his first Australian Open title.
Source: Radio Television Brunei