Caroline Wozniacki's career ended as it played out - with a lot of fight and a big smile.
The former World No.1 announced last month that the Australian Open, the scene of her greatest triumph when she broke her Grand Slam duck in 2018, would also be the stage for her professional farewell at the age of 29.
Wozniacki would have hoped to stretch out the goodbye a little longer but Tunisian Ons Jabeur made her own Slam breakthrough with a 7-5 3-6 7-5 victory.
"There's a lot of emotions, a lot of things I can't compartmentalise now," said the Dane. "A lot of excitement. A little sadness. Flashbacks from when I was a kid to this moment.
"The fact that it's gone so quickly but at the same time it feels like I've been out here for a long time. Players coming up to me and congratulating me. Just feeling the love from everyone has been very special."
Wozniacki had staged a trademark fightback to beat Dayana Yastremska in the second round and looked like she might do the same when she recovered from 0-3 in the deciding set.
But Jabeur, the first Arab woman to make the last-16 at a Slam, had not read the script and Wozniacki pushed a forehand long on the first match point.
In a tearful post-match interview, she made a joke about the shot that has been her major weakness, saying: "I think it was only fitting that my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and that I would finish my career with a forehand error."
At her press conference later, she added: "Throughout the match there were a couple of times I was like, 'Shoot, this could be my last one'. It was just, 'I don't want it to be the last one, I want to be out there fighting'.
"It's exciting. It's terrifying. It's a lot of emotions at the same time. But I'm happy. I'm very happy. Even though I was crying a lot earlier, it really wasn't sad tears."