Agnieszka Radwanska overcame a medical timeout and a stiff examination of her credentials by Li Na to move into the semi-finals of Wimbledon.
The fourth seed, who is the highest ranked player left in the women's draw, came through a highly entertaining match against the Chinese sixth seed 7-6 4-6 6-2 to book a mouth-watering clash with Sabine Lisicki.
The Pole, who started the match with strapping to both her thighs, was immediately broken but quickly levelled before Li broke again to lead 5-4.
Li had four points to serve it out but each was saved by Radwanska, who then earned two set points in an error-strewn tie-break before taking the first one to take it 7-5 before rain briefly interrupted play.
And last year's runner-up was soon in command of the second set when she moved a break up in the third game, with Li seeming to have few answers.
But she garnered her first break point of the set in the eighth game, and took it when putting away a smash.
Radwanska had an immediate chance to break again but didn't take it and this time Li capitalised, breaking her opponent in the following game to take the set 6-4.
Radwanska then called for a medical time-out as she received treatment on court for an injury to her right leg, but it was Li who was most affected by the interruption as the Pole quickly moved ahead in the decider.
Another break for rain gave the players further pause for thought as the roof on Centre Court was closed, but the Pole proceeded to move into a 5-1 lead.
Li saved two match points on her own serve before an agonising eighth game that saw Radwanska squander a further five match points and save three break points before Li finally hit a backhand long, after two hours and 39 minutes on court.