Ash Barty was reminded why she loves tennis so much after producing a never-say-die display to claw back from the brink of defeat and defuse the powerful threat of Karolina Pliskova in Stuttgart.
Australia's world No.1 reckoned she had loved Friday's "incredible" quarter-final victory at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix which saw her survive after being a set down and, later in a thrilling final set, stand just two points away from defeat on five separate occasions.
So, after finally prevailing 2-6 6-1 7-5 against the former world No.1 in just over two absorbing hours on the indoor clay, no wonder Barty was left exultant.
For she had nullified a rejuvenated performance from one of the cleanest and biggest hitters in the game, producing her best when it mattered most to tame Pliskova as she served for the match at 5-4 in the decider.
Barty wouldn't lie down, earning five break points in that pivotal game, four of which Pliskova repelled with big first serves before she finally cracked and the Queenslander took control to reel off the final four games.
Asked on court in the crowd-free arena whether it had been the sort of game that made her love tennis, Barty said: "Absolutely. When it's so close like that, I felt like I brought out some of my better tennis when I had to.
"And that's what I love about this sport. Its a funny scoring system, you're never out of it and you just have to keep trying every time you step up to the line to serve or return."
It was another compelling demonstration of Barty's ability and spirit because even though she initially struggled with her movement on the unusual clay-over-boards surface, she still adapted ably enough to largely dictate over the last two sets.
"That was an incredible match," said Barty, who will play another great fighter Elina Svitolina in Saturday's semi-finals after the Ukrainian later survived two match points to knock out defending champion Petra Kvitova 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-2.
"I missed some returns I'd like to have back (in the third set) but on lots of points, you have to tip your hat to your opponent when they come up with quality."
After the first set where Pliskova's easy power constantly had her rushing her work, Barty admitted: "I knew I'd have to do something pretty special to claw it back and get the match on my terms."
That's exactly what she did, going on the attack and breaking the Czech's huge serve three times in the second set.
"The third set was extraordinary. I felt like I created a lot of opportunities for myself and Karolina was able to come up with some quality stuff on massive points," said Barty.
"I'd have liked the break a little bit earlier and I created opportunities - but you just have to keep trying, keep going and allow yourself to relax and enjoy the battle. I certainly had a lot of fun today."
The final point of the match, a 21-stroke duel that saw both players at their attacking and defensive best, typified Barty's resilience as she finally forced Pliskova into ploughing a forehand long.
"I was able to find balance a little bit better - but the next time I'm on this court, I'll learn again," said Barty, who's looking good for a third title of the year.