Eugenie Bouchard is out of the ASB Classic – but not without a hell of a fight.
The Canadian wildcard, whose ranking has plummeted over the last 12 months, pushed the third seed Amanda Anisimova to the limit in their quarter-final, eventually falling 2-6 6-3 4-6 in almost two hours.
Bouchard had her chances, but couldn't made the most of several opportunities late in the third set, while 18-year-old Anisimova showed impressive composure after flat lining throughout the middle of the match.
A break to the American at 4-4 in the third set was critical, and the world No 24 was good enough to then serve out the match.
It means that Anisimova has achieved a lifelong dream, getting to play Serena Williams before the American icon retires.
It was a terrific contest.
Bouchard is ranked No 262, after a horrible 2019 season where she lost 12 matches in a row at one point, before winning a couple at second tier level to end the season.
Meanwhile Anisimova is the star on the rise, moving from No 95 in the world to inside the top 25 in the space of a year, as well as winning her maiden WTA title.
But Bouchard is a fighter, and belied her ranking with solid wins over Kirsten Flipkens and Caroline Garcia this week.
It was a strange match.
Anisimova was completely dominant in the first set, employing the 'stand and deliver' style that had been so successful in her second round demolition of Russian Daria Kasatkina.
She hit the lines constantly, while Bouchard spent most of the set sprinting from side to side, in a futile attempt to get a foothold in the rallies.
The Canadian was looking for answers, but any solution seemed far away, especially when she double faulted on set point.
She called for her coach at the end of the first set, admitting in a memorable exchange that "my body is not listening to my brain."
Somehow, things turned in the second set. It was an untidy affair, with six breaks of serve, but Bouchard fighting spirit came to the fore, while Anisimova fell in a hole.
The world No 24 only landed 57 per cent of first serves, and won just 10 points on serve in the set.
Both players struggled on serve, mostly due to the quality of the respective returning games.
The final set was a thriller. Neither player was wholly convincing, with plenty of mistakes, but the drama was compelling.
Bouchard defied three break points at 4-4, prevailing after some incredibly tense rallies, but couldn't save the fourth, and that was ultimately the difference.