Open champion Marin Cilic is a firm believer in the new International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), insisting the four-city mixed team tournament is a perfect addition to his preparations for the new season.
The Croat struggled with injuries after his victory in New York in September but scoffed at the notion that he had interrupted his end-of-season holidays to play in the inaugural running of the IPTL.
"Well I am not sure if it would be a holiday, it would still be a training period," he told reporters in Singapore on Tuesday.
"I had 10 days off after (the ATP World Tour Finals in) London and had started training again, and this is just part of that. I am still doing my own things, playing and practising, so the matches in the afternoon just add to that.
"Of course it is a different way to how I have been training in previous years but it is something good to try.
"The format is not too tiring, the matches go quick, but you still feel in competition mode and give a little more on the court than in regular training."
Playing for the Dubai-based UAE Royals, Cilic was happy to commit to the four-stop tournament as he was able to play alongside his coach and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.
"I decided to play this event at the start of the season so the most important thing for me is that I am in a team with Goran, so we can be on the same schedule all the time," he said, adding that he still had plenty of time to prepare for his first Australian Open warm-up event.
"I am looking at it in a positive way and I still have another 20 days after the IPTL concludes until I play in Brisbane."
Looking ahead to the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne next month, the big-serving 26-year-old said his Open victory would stand him out as a marked man.
"It will be a new feeling for me with new expectations but it is what I have been working towards, to be able to match the best players on the tour and be in a position to do well in the biggest events," he added.
"It was an up and down year for the top guys and I think it will be even more open next season, and we could see another new grand slam winner."