Roger Federer pulled off a stunning fightback to beat Borna Coric 5-7 6-4 6-4, reaching the Indian Wells Masters final and maintaining his perfect record in 2018.
This was the world number one's 17th consecutive win to start the year - the best such run of his career - but no previous opponent has tested him like Coric did in California on Saturday.
Indeed, the 49th-ranked 21-year-old looked well on course for a major scalp as a run of five consecutive games saw him take the first set and break to open up a lead in the second as he closed in on just a fourth ATP Tour final.
But a few errors crept into Coric's game, the likes of which Federer routinely punishes, and a commanding lead was gone in a flash as the top seed turned the match on its head with consecutive breaks to level the contest.
Federer then came from behind to edge the third set of a compelling match and ensure there would be no repeat of Simona Halep's shock exit in the women's draw, with either Milos Raonic or Juan Martin del Potro now next up in the final.
Back from the Fed— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 17, 2018
World No. 1 Roger Federer battles back from behind to win three-set thriller over Borna Coric 5-7 6-4 6-4.
He’s through to his historic *EIGHTH* Indian Wells final. #BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/rQrmodB9yZ
The pair were evenly matched early on as they comfortably held serve until, at 5-5, the underdog ramped up the pressure and broke Federer at the second attempt, allowing him to clinch the set in the following game after an erroneous call had initially denied him a perfectly good winner.
The Croatian broke Federer's serve in the first game of the second set, too, before maintaining control as he came charging back from 40-0 down to save the three break points and hold serve to make it 3-1.
Coric appeared to have a response to everything as he again rescued a break point in his next service game but, roared on by a partisan crowd, it was third time lucky for Federer, who was able to level the set at 4-4 and then ruthlessly punish the reeling youngster when he next served to take the match to a decider.
It looked as though the pendulum had swung again when Coric broke the Swiss to love in the opening game of the third, but back came Federer to draw level after a magnificent point in the second game.
Although Coric's resolve remained and he broke again to lead 4-3, a double-fault allowed Federer to promptly level matters.
And the veteran ultimately outlasted his opponent as Coric attempted to serve to stay in the match, nervy errors ending the unseeded talent's fight as Federer claimed the first of three match points.
"I got a bit lucky," Federer conceded on court, but he certainly earned a slice of fortune after a historic start to the season.
|Portugal´s Sanches has no chance of World Cup selection - Carvalhal|
|Spurs coach Popovich to miss game three after death of wife|
|Nadal reaches 14th straight Monte Carlo quarter-final|
|Better with one arm - Julio Cesar reveals Mourinho´s Casillas jibe|
|New Hamilton deal ´agreed in principle´ for Mercedes|
|Joseph likely to miss England´s tour of South Africa|
|Mourinho has nothing to prove - Pochettino|
|Bhatti pens one-year Glasgow extension|
|I have spoken to the chairman - Allardyce upset by Everton survey|
|Kit cat: Bath player offers signed shirt for missing pet|
|Emery dismisses talk of Real Sociedad offer|
|Thiem rallies to send Djokovic packing in Monte Carlo|
|Sidibe´s Monaco season over but World Cup return possible|
|Guardiola thanks ´unique´ City staff in celebration speech|
|Wan-Bissaka signs long-term Crystal Palace extension|
|Love will be ready for game three, assures Cavs coach Lue|
|Injured Raonic withdraws from Monte Carlo, Cilic advances|
|ECB announces 100-ball format for new domestic competition|
|Bottas aiming to overthrow Hamilton and claim world title|
|Rakitic to make comeback following finger surgery|
|FIFA dismisses Brewster racism complaint from U-17 World Cup final|
|Isak could benefit from Batshuayi injury - Stoger|
|Mitchell on target again in scrappy Roosters win|
|Shaw hopes to have earned FA Cup start|
|Mercado: If I smack Messi, I can´t go back to Argentina!|
|Salah wants Golden Boot to prove Chelsea doubters wrong|
|Chelsea´s Alonso gets three-game ban for Long challenge|
|Atletico clash absolutely vital to Arsenal´s season, admits Wenger|
|CSA wants interim agreement amid negotiations with South Africa players|
|Wenger still confident Wilshere will sign new deal|
|Read and Coles doubts for New Zealand´s France series|
|Paine vows to dial down Australia sledging|
|LeBron James denies he was blindsided by question on Popovich´s wife|
|Guardiola a friend as well as a boss, says Walker|
|Heaton: Europe a realistic possibility for Burnley|
|Late charge for the Golden Boot! - Smalling jokes about goalscoring form|
|Grand slams, walk-off hits highlight Blue Jays and Red Sox wins|
|Emery unsure when PSG star Neymar will return|
|Broncos boss Bennett walks out on press conference amid Bellamy speculation|
|Chiefs, Rams to play in Mexico City on November 19|
|LeBron James helps Cavs even series, Rockets rout T-Wolves|
|Marcelo backs Ronaldo to extend scoring run for Madrid|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Libertad preserve 100 per cent record, Corinthians stay unbeaten|
|Man United should have 10 more points – Mourinho laments inconsistency|
|Gombau sacked by Western Sydney Wanderers|
|Wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dies|
|Rafael: Van Gaal told me I could leave United after one-minute meeting|
|Klopp told Liverpool they could train naked because of Salah|
|Jazz star Mitchell to play game two against Thunder|
|Twins place Byron Buxton on 10-day DL with migraines|
|Zidane denies Bale problems, defends Benzema|
|Sarri: Napoli won´t change approach against Serie A rivals Juve|
|PSG will respect Les Herbiers, assures Emery|
|Chelsea boss Conte: It´s easier for Dyche at Burnley|
|It will be a great game - Allegri prepared for title showdown with Napoli|
|Pacquiao: Matthysse fight won´t be my last|
|Maybe it is my fault - Gattuso takes responsibility for AC Milan´s winless run|
|Kovac insists Frankfurt are united amid Bayern row|
|Not a single doubt for Madrid ahead of Bayern clash, claims Lucas|
|Gronkowski purchases stake in Kentucky Derby horse named after him|
|I was low and depressed - Hull KR centre Minns fails drugs test|
|LeBron wishes Cavaliers were better prepared for postseason|
|Sixers´ Joel Embiid doubtful for game three against Miami|
|Real Madrid 1 Athletic Bilbao 1: Kepa heroics torment Madrid until Ronaldo leveller|
|Nadal welcomes confidence-building court time|
|Mourinho salutes Pogba display|
|Caen 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Mbappe double keeps treble hopes alive|
|Djokovic: I´d have quit if I didn´t believe I could return to top|
|Burnley boss Dyche could manage England, says Heaton|
|Napoli 4 Udinese 2: Scudetto race alive ahead of tantalising Turin trip|