Melbourne - Elise Mertens says she enjoyed every moment of her unexpected run to the semi-finals on her Australian Open debut and it taught her that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
The Belgian world number 37 lost to second seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) on Thursday to deprive herself of a dream date in a Grand Slam final.
But despite the loss, the 22-year-old was upbeat after a stellar start to 2018 in which she won the lead-up Hobart International and followed it up with her efforts at Melbourne Park.
"I enjoyed every moment that I've been on centre court. It's been a good two weeks," she said.
Asked what she had learned from her eye-opening performances, she replied: "That anything is possible. The belief in yourself.
"Also the second set, I was 5-love down. I think mentally it's very important, of course, the body has to work well, too, but I think that anything is possible in tennis."
She added that she gave "everything" against the Dane, a former world number one who is now in her third Grand Slam final.
"You can see that the fighting spirit was there. But she was just slightly better than me today," said Mertens, who was the first Belgian to make the last four since Kim Clijsters in 2012.
She trains at the Kim Clijsters Academy and has seen her world ranking rise from 127 at the end of 2016.
Her run in Melbourne will propel her to number 20 in the world when the new rankings are released after the tournament.
"Yeah, it's wow, top 20 is a total different thing," she said.
"I'm not going to say, you know, top 20 is my goal. No, I hope to go even further."