Simona Halep fought back from a set down against two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber to book her spot in the semi-finals of the French Open and set up a shootout with Garbine Muguruza for the world No. 1 spot.
Halep had the crowd roaring with appreciation of a magnificent victor in the opening game of the second set but she was a break down at 2-1 after netting a forehand. It was her first quarter-final at the majors since Melbourne in 2016 after which she served a 15-month doping ban.
Halep was runner-up for a second time at Roland Garros previous year and lost the Australian Open final in January, but will have another opportunity to claim a maiden grand slam title on Saturday.
In short, this is proper, pressure second-week of a grand slam tennis.
But they hadn't played since 2014, back before Muguruza was as confident and successful as she is these days.
But even so, Muguruza believes her three-time Grand Slam finalist opponent is the favourite to pick up two more wins this week and break her duck.
"There is no point to be sad about what happened in Rome, because now it doesn't really matter", Muguruza concluded her pre-tournament press conference - and has been tearing up the Parisian clay with steely determination since. Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning, of course.
Muguruza settled down in the second set, moving 2-0 ahead before Halep levelled in the eighth game. Muguruza has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court. "I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon", Sharapova wrote. "It's a nice opportunity, a big challenge, so I have just to feel happy after the match that I gave everything".
"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", Sharapova said. Yes, Muguruza has won three of their four head to head meetings, but Halep has won their only clay clash, so the head to head series is pretty irrelevant to this match-up.
"I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court and to try to play my game", Halep said.
Backed by fans who loudly chanted her first name between games, Halep went ahead 3-0 in only 15 minutes with the help of only one victor.