The records will show that Andrey Rublev is the only man in the 2023 Rolex Shanghai Masters draw who is yet to drop a set at the tournament.
But as the No.5 seed defeated Grigor Dimitrov to book his place in Sunday's final, where he'll meet No.16 seed Hubert Hurkacz, the Russian was forced to fight.
With a set point saved in the first-set tiebreak and recovery from a break of serve in the second set, Rublev at last secured a 7-6(7) 6-3 victory.
"To be in the final is always special, doesn't matter which tournament, when you're in the final, it's always special feeling," he commented. "(It) doesn't matter if you had (a) straight-sets match or super tough, three-sets battle."
Facing a good friend in Dimitrov, Rublev's composure was especially impressive in the one-hour, 50-minute battle. The first set extended 77 minutes, with Rublev saving a set point at 6-7 in the tiebreak.
There was also a recovery required when Dimitrov broke, then consolidated, for a 2-0 lead in the second set. Rublev responded in the fifth game, winning five games straight - and five of the last six - before punctuating his milestone win with his ninth ace of the match.
"It's not easy when you win matches against friends, because you feel both sides," said Rublev, who registered 25 winners compared to eight from Dimitrov. "You feel sad, but at the same time you want to win. It's a mix of feelings."
The hard-fought victory sees Rublev advance to a fourth ATP Masters 1000 final, with the opportunity to add a second title at that level after winning Monte Carlo earlier this year.
Hurkacz, meanwhile, could be saving his best for last at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. After three-set tests against Thanasi Kokkinakis, Zhang Zhuzhai and Fabian Marozsan, Poland's top male player was in full command against Sebastian Korda in the semifinal.
The No.16 seed fired 14 aces (taking his tournament-high tally to 77) and didn't commit a single double-fault, or face a break point, in his 6-3 6-4 win.
"I was definitely happy with my performance today. I was playing well off the ground and serving well," said Hurkacz, who completed his victory in an hour and 16 minutes.
"Sebi is a really tough opponent, he's a great returner, so you just need to play well against him, because if you don't he's just going to take advantage of your shots."
Korda - one of six first-time ATP Masters semi-finalists this season and the sixth to exit at that stage of the tournament - was never provided such an opening against Hurkacz, who claimed breaks in the sixth game of the first set and first of the second in his business-like win.
"I'm just proud of the fight I'm putting (in) and commitment I'm giving on every, trying to do it every single point" Hurkacz said.
The 26-year-old is also vying for a second ATP Masters 1000 title, after lifting the Miami trophy in 2021.