Serena Williams has emerged as an unlikely ally in Bernard Tomic's stunning journey back from the tennis wilderness to the grand slam stage.
Williams' esteemed coach Patrick Mouratoglou was a vocal courtside supporter as Tomic sealed his place in the French Open main draw with a gritty 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 final-round qualifying win over Portugal's Goncalo Oliveira.
Mouratoglou later revealed Australia's fallen star had been training with Williams at his French academy, located 45 minutes from Tomic's Monte Carlo base, and was considering a permanent move as he fights to resurrect his once flourishing career.
"He practiced with Serena actually," Mouratoglou said ahead of Tomic's first-round showdown with countryman Nick Kyrgios on Monday.
"He came the last week after he played a Challenger in France.
"They (Team Tomic) really liked it and they asked me if they could stay all year and use the academy as a base and see if they can develop some work together with the people at the academy."
Mouratoglou senses Tomic, ranked a lowly 206th in the world after a horror 18 months, is finally ready to tap into his vast potential after hitting rock bottom and flirting with reality TV during a four-month winless run earlier this year.
"I think he's using, like, 20 per cent of his potential so that's a good thing and I feel like he wants to be back. I feel like he's motivated," the Frenchman said.
"So if he is and he's prepared to work, definitely he's the kind of guy who can do really, really well because he has a lot of talent.
"I mean, everyone makes his own path. He maybe probably made some mistakes, but it's always a good way to learn. Sometimes it's the best; to fail and think 'oh well, this was wrong and this was wrong and okay now I know what I should do'.
"If he's there (in that space) at the moment, then there is probably a lot of good things to do and getting the results out of it."
Mouratoglou praised Tomic's resilience for surviving three gruelling rounds of qualifying on a surface he's historically struggled on.
"It's not easy. It's never easy," he said.
"I think because what's happened these last one or two years, he's lost a lot of confidence.
"But in a way it can be something super positive.
"If he realises a lot of things and he's ready to fight his way back and work, only good things can happen."
Tomic, who posed for selfies with Williams on the eve of the Open, will carry a career-best seven-match clay-clay-court winning streak into his first-time meeting with Kyrgios.