It is that stage in the tournament, the bit where the favourites emerge from the pack and announce their intentions.
The first week is always entertaining for the fans – everyone is on show and there is plenty to see – and educational for the players. As they ease themselves up to full speed, they can make a few minor tweaks to their game, and they can run an experienced eye over the opposition. Who is looking sharp? Who is carrying an injury? Who is looking edgy?
But then there is Roger Federer. The man who stubbornly refused to class himself as a favourite a matter of days ago (he reckoned he was far too old at 36 to be thought of as a champion elect) may be talking that talk, but he is certainly not walking that walk. Yet again, he breezed through his evening gig at Rod Laver Arena, this time removing Richard Gasquet from his path 6-2 7-5 6-4 on Saturday night.
“I think I was able to stay a little bit more on the offensive than him,” Federer said with perfect understatement.
“Maybe I protected my own serve a little bit better than him. Richard played well – and me too. I’m happy to win tonight.”