Paul Coll has ticked off a few firsts since he was last in New Zealand.
In 2021, he became the first Kiwi man to claim the prestigious British Open title, and in March, he matched that historic feat by reaching No 1 on the squash world rankings.
Now, after almost four years away, Coll is back in New Zealand to celebrate another first, hopefully demonstrating the type of impeccable timing he generally displays on the court.
In addition to playing this weekend's national squash championships in Tauranga and doing some doubles training in Auckland ahead of the Commonwealth Games, Coll is heading home to Greymouth just in time to become an uncle.
"It's just me and my brother in the family and he's expecting his first kid, so hopefully it all works out in these two weeks that I'm back," said Coll, who has been based in the Netherlands.
"I've missed out on so much in terms of my personal life in the last four years, to share a moment like that with the family would be wicked."
Coll's story, like many Kiwi athletes in recent years, is filled with the sacrifices that became a necessary concession for a sportsperson chasing a living offshore during the pandemic.
The fluid nature of the squash schedule meant two weeks in a hotel were "almost impossible" for the 30-year-old. Instead of risking a trip home and missing a hastily arranged but important tournament, he had to remain overseas and miss events of equal importance off the court.
But few Kiwis have mixed that frustration with as much elation as Coll has enjoyed. The second half of his overseas stint has been particularly productive, rising to the top of the sport and repeatedly showing the quality to remain there.
Currently ranked No 2 in the world behind three-time world champion Ali Farag, Coll has disrupted the Egyptian dominance of men's squash. With the north African nation not present in Birmingham, he will be expecting to move a step on the podium after claiming silver four years ago on the Gold Coast.
"The last 12 to 18 months has been really special for me," he said. "I've had a lot of growth, personally, off court and on court in that time, and I have a lot of good memories with the people who helped me along the way."
Thanking some of those people will be on the agenda in Tauranga this weekend - a national title is, at this point, almost a given.
"I'm just going to enjoy it," he said. "These are the people I grew up playing against for many years, and I haven't played in front of a home crowd in a while.
"We've been playing away for the last four years, so to be back playing among friends and local support - and just seeing people who have supported us over the four years - will be pretty special."
Then will come the real highlight of his visit home. Coll described landing at Auckland Airport on Wednesday as "such a buzz", having especially missed the New Zealand culture and people.
But that will pale in comparison to a trip to the West Coast, especially since this is his offseason and only chance to relax before the new campaign begins shortly after the Commonwealth Games.
"It's busy, but the Comm Games is the best thing for us," he said. "So next week I'm going to have a week at home and enjoy it with my family - that's sort of my downtime.
"Just to get back to some normality will be unreal, and seeing my brother and my friends will be really cool. I'm so excited."