Before Roger Federer started larking around in a kilt, Andy Murray played a competitive enough set of tennis against the Swiss master to suggest he could be properly back in the new year.
In front of his own people, 11,000 of them in the SSE Hydro Arena, Murray appeared on court for the first time since Wimbledon and showed that he has not forgotten how to hit a tennis ball.
The 30 year-old Scot moved with less than sublime ease, but showed that he can still run when he needs to. Federer won the clash 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.
His pre-match assessment that he was playing at 75-80 per cent looked about right as he nominally managed an to take the second set against Federer in this match for UNICEF and local children's charities.
"I felt better than I expected and thought I did okay," was his verdict after losing the first set.
There was some hobbling around the baseline between points, but in the rhythm of the rallies he at least looked recognisable as the conquering player of a year ago.
Earlier, in his first real update since his late withdrawal from the US Open, Murray discussed the chances of making a planned comeback at January's Brisbane International:
"I hope I'm there, things have been going pretty well so far in the rehab, but you take each week at it comes, you have setbacks and then things come on quite quickly as well.
"I've been training for a few weeks now, some days I've felt great, some days not so good. I'll come back when I'm ready and 100 per cent fit. I made probably a bit of mistake trying to get ready for the US Open but it was the last Major of the year and I wanted to give it a go."
Asked how he has been feeling he replied: "I've spent more time in the gym with my physios than I have on the tennis court, but the last 10 days, I've been on the court an hour-and-a-half, two hours, most days."
He believes that ultimately he will be able to compete at full tilt again.
"I believe I will, yes. You never know how you're going to come back from injuries, but I have been hitting the ball very well practice.
"It's just that there is a difference between that 75-80 per cent practice and going flat out at 100 per cent for two and a half or three hours. I can't say for certain, but I think I'll be able to come back just fine."