Russian Elena Dementieva could barely conceal her delight after she won a final-set tiebreak against world number one Lindsay Davenport to advance to the semi-finals of the US Open.
The sixth seed, runner-up last year, survived a match point before clinching a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 victory on Wednesday to set up a semi-final against 12th seed Mary Pierce.
"She's the number one in the world at the moment. It makes me feel that I can compete against such good players and I can achieve my goal to be number one one day.
"Playing against Lindsay here in New York with the crowd support for her - that I could stay true and finish that well, it really meant a lot to me."
Dementieva had 50 double faults in her opening four matches and though she served well in the opening set against Davenport, she still yielded 12 in the match.
She was broken when serving for the match at 6-5 in the third, but bounced back superbly to save a match point in the tiebreak at 6-5 and then proceed to take it 8-6.
"You know, my serve is not my favorite shot. I wasn't so upset with this. I was just preparing myself mentally for the tiebreak.
"I just concentrated for every single ball I was playing. Even during the match, I didn't really realise that it was a match point for her."
Dementieva said she expected a tough match against Pierce in the semi-final on Friday.
"It seems like she's in great shape for the moment," she said.
"We're both hard hitters, so it's going to be all about mental preparation and confidence. I think we are both ready and we both have a chance to go to the final."
Davenport was annoyed she had played so poorly.
"You obviously want to play a little bit better than I played in a quarter-final match," the American said.
"I had a lot of chances in the third, then, coming back in the tiebreak, getting up and then losing three points in a row. The whole match was up and down."
Davenport paid tribute to Dementieva's fighting spirit but said she had wasted her opportunity.
"At Wimbledon [where she lost in the final], I played my heart out and played really well and I totally got beat," she said.
"Today I felt like a lot of it had to do with me. Not to say she didn't play well but I just didn't play the way I wanted to."