Silencing the voices of doubt that plague Li Na's mind has been mission impossible at times, but the 30-year-old Chinese star appears to have finally found harmony on and off the court.
The world No6 will play Agnieszka Radwanska today for a place in the Australian Open semi-finals, and is relishing being back in the big-time.
"It's been a long time since I got this far," Li said. "You could call this a pass-mark, but there's still a lot of work to be done."
The last time Li reached the quarter-finals at a Major was in 2011, when she went on to win the French Open.
Li struggled to deal with the higher expectations despite the efforts of husband-coach Jiang Shan, who has since withdrawn to allow Carlos Rodriguez to take the reins.
The new arrangement has been beneficial for all, with Rodriguez helping to quell Li's mental demons, while harmonizing the player's marriage.
"[Jiang] is happier with the arrangement, for sure," said Li. "I think the two of us feel a bit more relaxed about things."
Chinese media reported that Li has been offered a plum post in Hubei's tennis administration, but Li has no grand ambitions after she puts down her racket.
"If I retire, I will choose to be a housewife," she said. "Jiang Shan has never placed any demands on me, and has always traveled with me around the world and followed me on the tour.
"So I hope that after I retire I can sacrifice my life to take care of him and raise a family ... It'll be up to him where we settle down. If he doesn't want to settle down in [her hometown] Wuhan, then I won't be staying there without him."