Caroline Wozniacki feared she was heading out of the Australian Open before her dramatic comeback against world number 119 Jana Fett in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Wozniacki – the second seed – rallied to a 3-6 6-2 7-5 victory in the second round at Melbourne Park, having saved two match points on Rod Laver Arena.
With the sun shining in warm Melbourne conditions, Wozniacki looked down and out as she trailed 5-1 and 40-15 against the unheralded Croatian in the final set, but the Danish star dug deep, reeling off six successive games to avoid a major upset.
"I was thinking at that point she still has to win four more balls to win this match, and don't make it easy for her," Wozniacki told reporters. "At 5-1, 40-15, I felt like I was one foot out of the tournament. She served a great serve down the T, as well. It was just slightly out. I was kind of lucky.
"Then I felt her tighten up just slightly. I thought to myself, You know what, at this point, make her win it, don't give it to her. When I managed to win it to 5-2, I said, Okay, I'm still alive. She still has four more balls to win in a row or in the game. I was like, Just try and stay aggressive."
Wozniacki – a semi-finalist in 2011 – added: "I'm very proud of the way I came back. It was definitely very difficult. Definitely wasn't my best match, especially in the beginning.
"It was very different conditions. I just tried to mentally stay focused, tried to play my game. It was very hard, and she was playing well. All of a sudden seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing better and started really playing the tennis that I wanted to play" added the Danish star.