Jelena Jankovic's victory over Maria Sharapova in yesterday's DFS Classic final has propelled her into the ranks of potential winners of this year's Wimbledon crown.
The Belgrade-born 22-year-old defied failing light, the neck pain that has dogged her since Friday and an opponent whose pedigree on the natural surface is almost without parallel amongst their shared contemporaries, to register a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory in a shade under two hours.
Her success brought her yet another championship in an increasingly prosperous year, following wins in Auckland, Charleston and Rome and puts her level with Justine Henin at the top of the sport with four titles in 2007 alone.
The fact that she has been victorious on a hard court, clay and now grass only serves to underline the fact that Jankovic is a woman with whom to reckon and after this week's tournament in the Netherlands, she will mount a considerable challenge to Amelie Mauresmo's defence of the All England Championship.
Indeed while last night's loser, Sharapova, will travel to London, take some time off and then begin serious preparation for Wimbledon, which starts a week today, Jankovic will be in S'Hertogenbosch hoping to extend her endless activity.
If she goes deep into that event and improves on her best ever showing of a fourth-round spot at SW19, she will have played for six weeks, virtually without a rest.
But she believes it is this perpetual motion that is the secret behind her recent triumphs: "I feel like I am a machine," Jankovic said.
"All this year, I have played so many matches, I have already won as many as I did in the whole of last year (45). Winning four titles is amazing, it gives me so much confidence and makes me want to get even better.
"All my hard work in the off-season is starting to pay off. I want to work harder to be the best player in the world.
"Can I win Wimbledon? It would be a dream come true."
There were sustained spells yesterday when it did not look as though she would win at Edgbaston Priory. Sharapova looked in superb form when she broke decisively in the seventh game and produced a delicious lob to convert her first set point.
The Russian broke in the first game of the second, only to lose her own serve on three occasions and, soon after, the whole set.
Sharapova opined that the watershed had come when she was leading 40-30 and 3-2 with a relatively straight forward drive-volley which, instead of pummelling for a winner, she hooked into the net. It proved the catalyst for Jankovic to level the match.
In truth, Sharapova's reluctance to come to the net and failure with a string of simple mid-court opportunities were the real factors.
Only at 3-3 in the third did both players begin to play well at the same time and it was then the final ignited as a contest.
Sharapova shrieked and Jankovic scamp-ered to tie the match at 5-5. But suddenly Sharapova's radar went awry and, having gifted three break points, she negligently misjudged a floating return that dropped on to her baseline.
Jankovic accepted the second of three championship points to usurp a crown everyone had expected would belong to the 20-year-old Siberian.
"She is definitely a candidate at Wimbledon," Sharapova said afterwards. "You can never under-estimate someone who has come from a win like this. She has improved tremendously this year and, although she took some time to come to her best, a lot of people knew she was going to be a great player.
In the doubles final, Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang of Chinese Tapei defeated Tian Tian Sun and Meilen Tu 7-6, 6-3.