Emma Raducanu bowed out of the Australian Open in the second round despite an inspired comeback in the second set.
The British number one lost out to Danka Kovinić of Montenegro after struggling with a blistered hand from the off.
Raducanu dropped the first set but bounced back in the second after an incredible comeback.
Due to her injury, the 19-year-old was restricted to backhands and sliced forehands for the most part, which miraculously worked well enough to force the match to a deciding set.
However, there was only so far Raducanu could play through the pain barrier, and she ultimately lost 4-6, 6-4, 3-6.
The US Open champion requested two medical breaks during the match to bandage up her hand, but her meeting with Kovinić was not the first time the blistering had come about.
Raducanu was pictured receiving treatment on the same hand last week during training, meaning the injury has been ongoing for some days now.
In fact, Raducanu admitted some members of her team “maybe didn’t want me to play” after her first round win over USA’s Sloane Stephens.
But despite concerns in the Raducanu camp, the teen insisted she would continue with her run in the tournament.
“I fought so hard just to come out to Australia and play here, so I just left it all out there on the court,” the world number 18 said.
Indeed, Raducanu has had her mental toughness questioned in the past, and her dip in form since returning from the US Open has also resulted in some criticism. But her performance at the Margaret Court Arena could not have showcased more resilience and fighting spirit.
Raducanu reflected on her shift against Kovinić and how she fared without being able to produce forehands shots.
“I think anyone that knows me knows I do not hit slice forehands,” she said. “[I] probably hit more in that match than I have in two, three years. That was definitely one thing I learned, that nice slice forehand is not so bad and I have some sort of hand skills.
“That was a positive surprise, I would say, for myself. But also, I was just proud of how I kept fighting even in those situations where I was, I’m really struggling here, I can’t really do much, but I just kept hanging in there.”