London: Former world number one Ana Ivanovic gave the perfect response to her critics as she battled into the Wimbledon fourth round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Germany's Julia Goerges on Saturday.
Ivanovic, the 14th seed, was once regarded as the female game's brightest young star after winning the 2008 French Open just months after reaching the Australian Open final.
But the 24-year-old has been unable to fulfill her vast potential since then, with some pundits accusing her of lacking the mental strength to succeed at the highest level.
Ivanovic, who has failed to get past the fourth round in her 17 Grand Slam appearances since that triumph in Paris, arrived at the All England Club with little expectation of emulating her 2007 run to the semi-finals after being forced out of the Eastbourne event with a hip injury last week.
But she is now within touching distance of finally returning to the last eight of a Grand Slam after showing impressive grit to hold off the talented Goerges.
Ivanovic will play second seed Victoria Azarenka or Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova for a place in the quarter-finals.
At 23, Goerges is only a year younger than Ivanovic, but whereas the Serb had been written off as a fading force, the German still carries the tag of a future star.
The world number 24 broke in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead and showed impressive character to serve out the first set under pressure from Ivanovic as the Serb finally started to go for her shots.
With Ivanovic unleashing some powerful groundstrokes, Goerges found it harder in the second set. She saved four break points at 1-2, but couldn't stem the tide and Ivanovic eventually broke for a 4-2 lead.
Goerges fought off one set point on her serve, but Ivanovic had the bit between her teeth and finally levelled the match on her fourth set point.
There was a real zip to Ivanovic's play now and the Serb secured a break in the fifth game of the last set.
Ivanovic survived a final test as she saved two break points before celebrating victory with a shriek of joy.