China's Chen Xingtong completed an audacious run from the qualifying tournament to the women's singles final at the International Table Tennis Federation Swedish Open in Stockholm with victory over second seed and compatriot Zhu Yuling.
However, she now faces an even tougher challenge in the form of China's current Olympic and world champion Ding Ning.
Chen progressed with a 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 win to meet a formidable opponent who had already booked her place in the final with an 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 win over against Japan’s number four seed Kasumi Ishikawa.
"I played to a good standard today," she said after her win at the Eriksdalshallen.
"Zhu Yuling is very consistent so I had to top spin the ball as much as possible.
"However, the most important fact today was that I was mentally very stable."
Earlier in the day, Chen had come through a gruelling quarter-final against fellow Chinese Chen Meng 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4.
Zhu had earned her semi-final place with victory in five games over Japan's Myu Kato.
Ding, who had beaten compatriot Zhang Qiang 4-1 in her quarter-final yesterday, said after her semi-final win: "I think my level was higher today than yesterday, my opponent was very strong, I think that helped raise my level.
"Also, I think the atmosphere in the hall today helped; there is just one table, the crowd is focused on the match, there are no other matches to cause distractions."
China's top seed in the men's singles, world silver medallist Fan Zhedong, duly reached tomorrow's final - but only after a lengthy struggle against compatriot and qualifier Zhou Yu.
Fan won 11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 12-10 to meet fellow Chinese player and second seed Xu Xin, who defeated compatriot Fang Bo 11-9, 12-14, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-1.
At the change of ends in the deciding game, Zhou led 5-4, and he extended the lead to 9-6 - only to lose the next four points.
He saved the game point but when Fan had a second chance he could not repeat the feat.
"Today in the match I won, lost, won, lost, won, lost and won; I was losing in the seventh game but you must never give up," said Fan.
"Zhou Yu is very skillful; of course we have played doubles together, so we know each other very well."
Zhou had been the first into the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory over fellow Chinese player Lin Gaoyuan.
Zhou’s compatriots then filled the other semi-final places with victories over the three remaining competitors from other countries.
Fan defeated Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna 11-6, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5.
Then Xu ended the progress of Denmark’s Jonathan Groth which had begun five days earlier in the qualification tournament, beating him 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9.
Fang completed the clean sweep with a closely fought 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 win over Japan’s number three seed Koki Niwa.