LONDON, England - Two weeks ago, Garbiñe Muguruza wasn't a huge fan of playing on grass, and certainly hadn't had her best results in England - she had won two of seven WTA-level matches here.
And then, this - the WTA Rising Star's run to the Wimbledon final - happened.
"I'm surprised, because my two preparation tournaments before this, they were not so good, so to be here in the final, it's amazing," Muguruza said after beating Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals. "And, well, it means a lot. You work all your life to achieve a Grand Slam final, to be in this situation.
"It's like a dream, like a present after all of the hard work."
In that semifinal, Muguruza showed some very impressive mental toughness. After storming out to a 6-2, 3-1 lead, she dropped the second set - but she regrouped in the third to win anyway, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
"When I was up in the second set, I was like, 'What?' I was playing really well. And then I was like, 'Okay, wait. You're the only one who can lose this match.' So I was just getting really nervous. And Radwanska was waiting for this moment, she did very well, she fought, and she won the second set.
"But I was like, 'Okay, be calm. You're playing against Agnieszka. It's going to be a tough match.' In the third set I found a way, like I did in the first set, just playing more aggressively again.
"I lost the fear to win the match."
That fear didn't just push Muguruza into the first Grand Slam final of her career, it's going to push her into a whole new elite - by virtue of reaching the Wimbledon final, the Spaniard will break into the Top 10 for the first time, going from No.20 to No.9 by reaching the final and potentially No.6 with a title.
Muguruza will be the fourth Spaniard in WTA history to break the Top 10:
Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario (career-high No.1)
Conchita Martínez (career-high No.2)
Carla Suárez Navarro (career-high No.8)
Garbiñe Muguruza (career-high TBD)
Martínez, the 1994 Wimbledon champion and recently-announced Spanish Fed Cup captain, had some kind words for Muguruza - the pair had a memorable exchange of text messages two weeks ago.
"Well, we were laughing because I was like, 'Conchita, I'm not sure about grass.' She's like, 'Come on, you can play well.' She was just telling me every day, every match to keep going, 'You're doing great.'
"She was giving me power."