Rafael Nadal's back injury might have affected his game - but at the moment, it's not necessarily for the worse.
Against Michael Mmoh, the world number two demonstrated a forward-thinking, front-foot, aggressive game style.
And Eurosport expert Mats Wilander wondered whether it was something to do with the niggling back injury that has been troubling the Spaniard.
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"I haven't seen him take the ball as early as he's doing these days...he's trying to shorten the points," said the Swede in The Cube. "Is it because the courts are playing a little bit quicker? Novak Djokovic said the other day it's the fastest they have ever played.
Is it because Rafa's back is a little bit sore, and he needs to be on top of the ball? I'm not really sure, but I really enjoyed seeing him play like this, and sometimes you see him play like this and you're like, 'Why didn't he play more like that in his career?', but I don't know, he's done all right.
‘Taking it so much earlier’ - Wilander on Nadal's new return tactic
Nadal has played down his back problem slightly, admitting in his post-match press conference:
I [will] keep doing the things that I can. If you see my motion on the serve is different than what I would like, but I am trying to find solutions every day. I just keep fighting [to] find a solution.
"Of course, yeah, the preparation the last 15 days have not been the ideal one, but here I am. I won two matches in straight sets. I have another opportunity to be on court in two days, and I have tomorrow to keep doing things and trying to find solutions for my back. We are doing everything possible to try to be better and better and still alive. So still alive, still hope to be better and to try to be competitive."
It could be, of course, that the other element that Wilander raised is also having an impact on Nadal's game - the speed of the courts.
"Honestly, it's like ice out there - I don't know what they've done, but the speed of the court has been the fastest in the last 15 years, the fastest I've ever experienced here at the Australian Open," said Djokovic on court on Wednesday.
With Nadal having to adapt his game to his new physical limitations, it's a massive stroke of good fortune that the court is helping him out.
He has only one Australian Open title to his credit - and that came 12 years ago. It could be that in this oddest of years, with the fastest of courts, and his usual serve motion hampered, Nadal is in the best position he's ever been in to finally double his tally.
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