Whatever you might think of Eugenie Bouchard, you have to admire her honesty and courage.
The Canadian star admitted that her temperament on court during the three set cliffhanger win over Bibiane Schoofs on Wednesday night was really poor, recounting that her coach had said her "attitude was f**ked up".
It was an extraordinary revelation, after a crazy match.
There were no less than 16 service breaks, a ton of errors (including 13 double faults) and plenty of drama, before Bouchard finally prevailed 67 (5) 64 64 in two hours and 36 minutes to progress to the last eight of the ASB Classic.
The former Wimbledon champion mixed the sublime with the ridiculous, including at one stage tossing up four double faults in a single game at the start of the third set.
The 24-year-old was fighting plenty of demons, and her frustration boiled over at times, as she smashed her racquet into the ground, snatched her towel from a ball kid and regularly threw frustrated glares in the direction of her coach Michael Joyce.
"I didn't have the best attitude for sure…the coach is pissed about that," said Bouchard. "That is something I am going to work on going forward."
When asked by the Herald to describe what Joyce said when he was called to her chair during the third set, Bouchard was incredibly frank.
"Are you referring to when he said 'my attitude was f**ked up? Yeah, I mean, I need to be called out when I am not doing the right thing on the court. And you know, bad attitude doesn't help me play better, actually it probably makes me play worse. So, I got it together a little bit. It is emotional because I really want to win, but it is about doing the job first."
To her credit, on a night when she was struggling mentally and for her touch, Bouchard never gave up, coming back from a set down – which she conceded with a double fault in the tiebreak – to win in front of enraptured crowd, who rode every wave of a rollercoaster clash.
"I kept fighting," said Bouchard. "That was the most important thing when you are not feeling good, it's about trying to do your best every single point. We had some crazy points…to lose long points is a heartbreaker."
"That I was able to [keep going], even though not feeling like I was playing well, and not feeling that great mentally, that I was able to still buckle down and push through it and actually end on a positive note, instead of just continuing on a downward spiral [was a positive]"
World No 173 Schoofs played one of the best matches of her life, constantly surprising the Canadian with her ability to retrieve, and just kept hanging on.
The 30-year-old had nothing to lose, and played like it, while Bouchard surely knew how a defeat to a unheralded qualifier would have been portrayed (she hadn't lost to someone outside the top 150 since April 2017).
Her relative struggles, since her astonishing breakthrough in 2014 when she reached the last four at three grand slams and went to the Wimbledon final, means she is constantly under the microscope, though she bristled when asked about her comeback since midway through last year, when, due to injuries and poor form, she was on the verge of slipping out of the top 200.
"I don't know - I'm so tired of answering questions like that," said Bouchard. "I don't want to look back and wish to be the old me. Even in years where I wasn't five in the world I was still top 50 in the world so I can't say those are shitty years, even though the media calls it that. My ranking dropped last year – much worse than that, yes – I had some bad injuries – but since then since middle of 2018 I've really made good strides in the right direction."
Bouchard showed plenty of character and fight, as tennis such an unforgiving sport, especially when you are struggling for rthymn and confidence.
She also provided, along with Schoofs, wonderful entertainment, with some of the best rallies seen at the tournament so far, and was quick to praise the Auckland fans.
"The crowd here is amazing," said Bouchard. "It's such a great tournament. The support, [and] the fact that it is full stadiums basically every single day. It's one of the best tournaments of the year for sure."
"I feel like they are really into it, I feel like they appreciate tennis, which, basically as a tennis player, I appreciate, it's what I give my whole life to, so to see them really be fans of that is special for all the players."
Bouchard faces world No 14 and defending champion Julia Goerges in Friday's quarter final.
Bouchard: "I didn't have the best attitude for sure, the coach is pissed about that. That is something I am going to work on going forward."
Herald: "He had some pretty stern words for you when he came to talk to you. What did he say, and how did that affect you?
Bouchard: "Are you referring to when he said 'my attitude was f**ked up"
Bouchard: "Yeah, no I mean, I need to be called out when I am not doing the right thing on the court. And bad attitude doesn't help me play better, actually it probably makes me play worse. I got it together a little bit. It is emotional, because I really want to win. It's about doing the job first."