Jennifer Brady's legs were shaking and her heart racing after the American overcame Karolina Muchova and two weeks in hard quarantine to set up an Australian Open final showdown with Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka.
It will be Brady's first grand slam final after the 25-year-old stopped Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4 3-6 6-4 in Thursday's thrilling second semi-final at Melbourne Park.
Third-seeded Osaka earlier ousted seven-times champion Serena Williams 6-3 6-4 in the first semi.
"I can't feel my legs," Brady said after needing five match points to put Muchova away.
"My legs are shaking, my heart is racing - I don't have words.
"I'm obviously pretty excited to be in the final of the Australian Open."
Brady described making the final at Melbourne Park as an "incredible achievement".
But it's all the more incredible after she was one of 51 players in the Open singles draw to be confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days after being on COVID-19 infected charter flights into Melbourne.
She said she tried to stay positive during the hotel stay but basically gave herself no chance of being in the title decider coming from so far behind.
"Even before quarantine, I didn't think I would be where I am right now," Brady said.
"I definitely feel I've earned the right to be playing in a grand slam final; I've put in a lot of work but I just think it's crazy to believe ... it's that the tables have turned and I'm here."
The final will be her fourth career meeting with Osaka, who she lost to in three tight sets in last year's US Open semi-finals.
"We had a tough match at the US Open in the semi-finals and she even said it was one of her top two matches, which was unfortunate for me.
"I think it will be a really good match."
Ranked 24th in the world, that semi-final run at Flushing Meadows was Brady's previous best performance at a major.
Big-serving Brady looked in control early against giant-killer Muchova, who'd upset world No.1 Ash Barty in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
But Brady, who is Barty's doubles partner, did what the Australian couldn't do and resisted a Muchova fightback.
It wasn't easy with Brady's unforced error count through two sets hitting 30 as she lost her way.
Brady's frustration was evident as she kicked the ball away after the 25th-seeded Muchova took the second set.
After a crucial break in the third by Brady to lead 2-1, the pair went toe-to-toe.
In the gripping final game which lasted 12 minutes, Brady was forced to save three break points as the steely Czech held on, before the American got the result on her fifth match point.
Last year was a turning point for Brady, starting in Brisbane where she downed favourite Barty.
She said she felt at home in Australia.
"I love playing in Australia - it feels like home to me," the Floridian said.
"Brisbane is one of my top five tournaments - it just feels like home - and I play good tennis in Australia and I feel really comfortable here."