As Angelique Kerber walked dejectedly towards the net at the conclusion of her rollercoaster fourth round loss to Carla Suárez Navarro at the US Open, she could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel on the season.
After her breakthrough in 2012, Kerber had struggled to build on this success in an erratic campaign more memorable for its dramatic defeats than glorious victories.
But fast forward a few months and the picture looks a lot rosier - a run to the final in Tokyo and a title in Linz securing the German a place at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul and consolidating her place in the Top 10.
And while her second visit to Istanbul ended in yet another tough three set loss, her very presence at the tournament staved off any possibility of post-season blues.
"I think the biggest moment was to win the final in Linz and my first title this year," Kerber said in Istanbul. "Of course, coming here, it's a big event, and I really enjoyed my week and I was very happy that I could play and compete with the best players in the world."
Coping with the pressure that accompanies a place at the top - and defending the points required to get there in the first place - presented the 25-year-old with a new challenge, and despite a few bumps along the way it is a challenge she passed with flying colors.
"After the tough loss in Wimbledon, I played very well in the US Open and the Asia tour, so I think overall I had a lot of good experience and new experiences this year," she added. "This year was for sure different than the last one because I had a lot of points to defend. And staying in the Top 10 is for sure harder than to get there."
Kerber has also taken plenty from the experience and is looking forward to coming back even stronger when the tour starts up again Down Under in January.
"I'm feeling for sure more confident because everything's not new for me anymore. I think the most important thing that I learned from this year is to think about me and about improving my tennis.
"If I go out there and have fun and don't think about pressure and about being in the Top 10 then the success will come, I think. I played a consistent year so I'm just happy about that and I'm looking forward for the next season and for Australia."