Maria Sharapova dug deep yet again to come back from the brink and book her place in the semifinals of the French Open.
Trailing 1-6, 4-5, Sharapova looked to be caving in to the giant killer Garbine Muguruza, who beat Serena Williams in the second round, only for the Russian to find her mojo at the right time to win three games in a row, before breaking the youngster's resistance in the third set to eventually ease home.
Sharapova had to fight back from a set down against Samantha Stosur in the fourth round, and the former French Open champ showed her tenacity yet again, clawing her way back into the contest with a tense second set win, before holding her nerve in the beginning of the decider.
"In a lot of the games in the first set she was up 30-0, 40-0, and then I'd win a point or two," Sharapova said. "Then she's the one with the confidence. In the second set, when I was making her hit a second ball after her serve or when I was being a bit more aggressive on the second serves, taking a bit more chances, all of a sudden she's not hitting so freely.
"I knew that the match wasn't over. I still had a fair bit of time to change things around. Little by little I started playing a bit better, started getting in the court a little bit more, playing a little bit more aggressive, serving better than I did in the first set, returning as well, giving myself more looks at break points."
The 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory sets up a match against Eugenie Bouchard, who also had to force all her fighting qualities to come to the fore to get past Carla Suarez Navarro in a match that swung one way and the other before the Canadian youngster came out smiling with a 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-5 victory.
"I want to thank everyone here for creating such a great atmosphere," Bouchard said after the match. "I didn't expect to play such a tough match. She played really well and is a great clay court player.
"At the end of the third set I thought I was getting the upper hand began to believe that I could win. I'm just excited to be in the semifinals and to stay a little longer in Paris. I'm just going to enjoy myself in the semifinals."
Bouchard will play her second straight semifinal in a Grand Slam after reaching the same stage at the Australian Open earlier this year. In Sharapova, though, the Canadian is up against a veteran who has just found ways to pick up a win with her back firmly planted to the wall.
It will be an interesting clash, a matchup between the current pinup queen against the heir apparent to that throne.
Meanwhile, in the quarterfinals of the women's doubles, India's Sania Mirza and Zimbabwe's Cara Black, the no.5 seeds, went down to top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng of China 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
"This is the second time we made the semifinals. The last time was in 2009," Peng said. "We played against really strong opponents and it was a really good match. We are really happy and excited that we're in the semis."
Also advancing to the final-four was the Italian pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who thumped Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 6-0, 6-1. "We played a really good match today," Errani said. "They are not an easy team. We were very focused and aggressive and are very happy to win this match."