At the back end of 2010, whilst the majority of the tennis world entered into their short winter slumber, Serbia played France for the Davis Cup, the premier international team tennis event.
Then World Number 3 Novak Djokovic was leading Serbia's charge for their first ever Davis Cup title and, going into his final singles match, the Serbians trailed 2-1.
Everyone knows what happened next: Djokovic won, Serbia went on to win the Davis Cup and then, buoyed by a strong relationship with his home country and the unerring self-belief which that provided, Novak went on to record one of the finest calendar years in tennis history.
2011 saw him win three out of four of the Slams and notch up six consecutive final wins (across three different surfaces) over Rafa Nadal. He also beat Andy Murray in the Australian Open final. He won 43 matches in a row. This was a momentous change of hierarchy.
Djokovic, although the winner of his only previous Slam final appearance in 2008 over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, had not managed to scale those heights again. He found the burden of being a young Slam champion too much to bear, and many wondered if he'd ever emulate his early success.
But the Davis Cup triumph reinvigorated Djokovic, with a sense of personal belief and national pride.
The Davis Cup Final in 2010 was hosted in Belgrade, Serbia. For the first time in Djokovic's career he was playing a high-intensity final as part of a team and right in front of his home fans. Tennis can be an exceptionally lonely sport, especially if you're not "fulfilling" expectation.
To have the weight of expectation shared across a team is something most tennis players never experience. Winning big and winning at home changed Djokovic's career.
Fast-forward two years and a similar scenario has unfolded for Andy Murray. For so long in his career he has been the singular British force on the court, cast out to represent a country's expectations solely on his own.
Whilst he has mostly embraced that support, it is telling that, until Sunday, the ultimate test has always proved to be too much.
Just a month after losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, and securing the support of the nation with an emotional post-match speech, Murray found himself playing in a major final, not just for himself, but as part of a team, with a raucous British crowd making their allegiances clear.
The Olympics have galvanised Murray. A shy, normal guy, who has been instructed to carry the tennis burden of 60 million people, found himself liberated as part of Team GB, where pressure was stretched across 500 athletes and the fans cheered in patriotic expectation rather than fraught Wimbledon hope.
He has probably played the tennis of his career to date over the week, and saw off Djokovic in the semi-finals in straight sets. He's also looked like he's been enjoying this far more than any Slam, with smiles for his doubles partner Laura Robson and jokes with the crowd. (The fact that Robson and Murray also took Silver in the Mixed Doubles is worthy of praise. A shining light in the gloom of British tennis, which is not known for its strength in depth.)
He has reached finals before, we all know this. He's beaten the very best before. But never had he beaten Roger Federer, the best player of all time, in a best out of five match. Federer has only lost in a five-set final to two players, Rafa Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro. It took Nadal three attempts to beat Federer at Wimbledon, and only after the greatest grass court match in history.
Murray, wearing the blue and red of GB rather than worrisome white, blew Federer off the court in three sets and two hours. He prevented Federer from winning a single game during an hour-long streak.
The last time Federer has lost in three sets at Wimbledon was to Mario Ancic in 2002. Surely this will be Murray's 'Novak moment'. The likelihood is that Murray will never get to challenge for highest Davis Cup honours, so the importance of this Olympics for his career is huge. To feel loved and to return that with a Gold is something only very few athletes will ever experience.
This is the absolute highest point of his international career. This is the Gold that Federer has never won. That Djokovic has never won. Murray is the first British man to win Gold in the tennis for over 100 years.
On a personal level more rewards await: his first Grand Slam, in New York, mirroring his first Junior Slam, is now paramount. He must use this newfound heart and belief to spur him on, and he will.
A final point. When Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer all won their first Grand Slam they played rank outsiders. Jo-Wiflred Tsonga, Mariano Puerta and Mark Philippoussis, respectively. Murray has faced Novak Djokovic once and Federer four times in his Major finals.
He's yet to win one in the Slams. But, to paraphrase Sir Steve Redgrave, you're Slam Champion for one year and Olympic Champion for life.
Follow David Whelan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/whelanwrites