Kiwi doubles tennis star Michael Venus has revealed he almost quit the sport altogether, just a month before winning the French Open in June.
Venus will begin his quest for a US Open crown at Flushing Meadows on Thursday (NZ time), but first he's enjoying soaking up the atmosphere in New York City.
"I'm so excited to be here, New York's just got so much going on so it's a great place to be," Venus told Newshub outside his hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
Like New York, Venus himself has had plenty going on in recent months.
His French Open doubles title with Ryan Harrison will be something he'll remember forever, but it's even more remarkable given he almost gave up tennis just a month before winning on the clay courts of Roland-Garros.
"About a month before the French Open, I was in Budapest, and I lost in the first round," Venus said.
"I was with my girlfriend Sally and we just sat down and I said, 'What am I doing here? We're away from friends and family, is this all worth it?'."
Now, as a grand slam champion, he can answer that question with a resounding yes - but it's not always easy for tennis players.
Venus admits the expensive nature of a career on the road meant he was losing money for most of his early years.
He had to call on his parents to help fund his tennis dream, so it was a special moment when a down-on-his-luck Venus broke through in Paris.
He pocketed close to $500,000 from that win, but for Venus, having his mum in the stands was priceless.
"She told me she was coming over for it, and I asked her why she was picking this one, [I told her] why not come to Wimbledon, it'll probably be better, but it ended up working out perfectly as she was there and my girlfriend Sally was there also."
He had success at Wimbledon too, reaching the quarterfinals, but now he's determined to make his mark in Queens at the final grand slam of the year.
In 2016, Venus was knocked out in the second round of the doubles, but with grand slam title now on his resume, he'll be expecting to go a lot deeper into the tournament this time round.