Maybe twist an inch of muscle flesh just to get Bianca Andreescu out of bed on Thursday morning.
Serena Williams looked all but unbeatable in her quarterfinal match, which she won in a mere 44 minutes.
Yes, it is real life. During a pre-match interview, Mertens, 23, who was playing on Ashe for the first time this tournament, admitted "It's going to be a hard match, but I'm going to enjoy it".
"It's really cool having other Canadian athletes shout me out like that", Andreescu said.
Now ranked No. 15, she will break into the top 10 for the first time next week regardless of how she fares from this point. But it is her killer instinct in points that really makes her stand out.
It took some time for those tendencies to show themselves on Wednesday, but once they did Andreescu was her normal ferocious self.
Teenager Bianca Andreescu's remarkable rise continued as she came from a set down to sink Elise Mertens and reach the last four of the US Open. In the victory, Bencic won 84 percent of her first serve points and 52 percent of her second serve points.
Mair knows Williams has battled injuries all year and has not been able to add to her 23 Grand Slam titles.
She came back to hold serve and went up 3-2 after a strong forehand victor.
Andreescu couldn't have gotten off to a better start, quickly generating two break points on Mertens' opening service game.
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The next game, she carried the momentum forward and broke Mertens for the second time in the set to go up 4-2.
I have Andreescu reaching the final in NY. Now what I've accomplished this year, I'm honestly speechless.
"I really like the challenge". I'm sure off the court we are still friends. "I think it gives me extra motivation to just keep striving and keep doing well".
Mertens gave a succinct assessment of the opponent that had beaten her: "She never gives up".
A year can be a very long time in tennis. She ended last season well outside the top 150 in the WTA rankings, but in January she came out firing, winning three qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand, and then reeling off four straight wins, including over players such as Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams, before falling in the final to Julia Georges.
The 19-year-old is 31-4 this season, with titles at Indian Wells and Toronto. Her run included five match wins over seeded players. She also benefited from Anett Kontaveit withdrawing from the tournament in the third round ahead of their matchup.
This U.S. Open, though, hadn't even required that kind of heavy lifting. In the victory, Andreescu won 75 percent of her first serve points and 48 percent of her second serve points.
Then things became more daunting. Mertens then rallied from 15-40 to hold on her end and tied again at 3-3. The first signs of the set going awry was in the first game when Andreescu went up 0-30, but allowed her opponent back into it on what was a prime break opportunity.
She's also two wins from Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion. Top seeds have fallen all over the place at this tournament.
It was the 12th consecutive three-set victory for the Canadian, who moved into her first career Grand Slam semifinal against No. 13 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.