Venus Williams never wavered from the thought of making another Grand Slam final, and always knew she still had both the game and the determination to make it happen again.
“If I'm here, that's why I'm here,” she said. “I'm not just here to hang out halfway around the world.”
She is most definitely here, having booked a place in her second final at Melbourne Park after ousting CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3 in their semifinal on Thursday.
Back in the 2003 decider, she found herself across the net from sister Serena and – some 14 years on – history will repeat itself after the younger Williams ended the dream run of Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
“It was so intense. I just couldn't climb on top her that day,” Venus reflected. “The stakes are different now. It's history. It's a wonderful place to be at both times.”