Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Li Na to reach the Indian Wells final on Friday, thought about retiring before Wimbledon last year.
The 32-year-old Italian returned from wrist surgery last February and had fallen to No. 166 by Wimbledon. She says she decided to give herself until the U.S. Open to return to the Top 100 or decide whether to hang up her racquet.
Pennetta proceeded to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon and her first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open.
"Last year I just say, Okay, if I finish the year Top 100 it will be okay," she said. "I finished 29, I think, [actually No. 31] so was much better."
Now ranked No. 21, the former Top 10 player is expected to return to the Top 15 as a result of reaching the Indian Wells final, and could get to No. 12 if she wins the title.
Pennetta will face Agnieszka Radwanska in the final.