Twelve months ago, Virginie Razzano arrived at Roland Garros mourning her fiancé, who died just five days before the tournament started.
On Tuesday, she opened a new emotional chapter in her French Open story when she sent Serena Williams crashing to her first ever loss in an opening round at a Grand Slam.
Such was the challenge that the 29-year-old couldn't sleep for three nights before the match.
It was a clash that had looked like a routine victory for the American when she led by a set and 5-1 in the second set tiebreaker, but through sheer willpower became a memorable 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory for Razzano.
Adding to the drama and tension was the Frenchwoman needing an eighth match point to finish proceedings in a marathon ninth game of the final set after three hours of action.
"I did my mourning," said Razzano, as she reflected on the events of a year ago when her coach and fiance Stephane Vidal passed away at 32.
"It took time, but I worked with somebody and I felt I was ready to live my life both professionally and personally again. "Was it destiny for me to win tonight? I don't know but I wanted to win so much," she added.
The loss was Williams' first exit at the opening round stage of her 47-event Slam career and earliest defeat at a major since she was knocked out of the Australian Open second round by sister Venus in 1998.
"I was cramping at the end but I knew I could beat her. I couldn't sleep properly for three nights before the match," said Razzano. "I even watched Serena on Google and YouTube. I kept telling myself that when I step on court I could do it, I could win."