Rafael Nadal had barely raised a sweat en route to his sixth Australian Open final on Friday before his destructive ways inadvertently spilled beyond the blows he was inflicting on Matteo Berrettini.
Beneath a closed Rod Laver Arena roof, the Spaniard had opened up an early lead in his 36th major semifinal after hammering "The Hammer's" less-potent double-fisted backhand.
Only 15 minutes into his 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 triumph and in drastically cooler conditions than his heat-stroke-defying win over Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals, Nadal managed to dismantle an air-conditioning hose at the change of ends.
Fortunately, for a man who's carved out a reputation for working things out alone on court, nothing was beyond the 35-year-old on this stormy summer's afternoon.
Mr Fix-It quickly turned his hand to dismantling a late-surging opponent.
"As everybody knows I'm more an outdoor than an indoor player but I enjoy a lot the atmosphere so I can't complain at all," Nadal said.
"I knew before the match that the roof was going to be closed, but you know what? For a month-and-a-half I did not know if I was going to be able to play tennis so it did not matter if it's outdoor or indoor today, I just wanted to enjoy it."
In the process, Nadal landed his first triumph over a top 10 opponent since Milos Raonic succumbed to him on Rod Laver Arena in the quarterfinals five years ago.
He becomes the fourth-oldest man in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open final, where he awaits second seed Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas for his second title.
"I went through a lot of challenging moments, a lot of days of hard work without seeing a light there, but still working and still receiving plenty of support from my team and from my family, too, without a doubt," Nadal said.
"Yeah, I mean, a lot of conversations with the team, with the family about what can happen or what's gonna happen if the things continue like this, thinking that maybe is a chance to say goodbye.
"That was not a lot of months ago. To be able to be where I am today, I don't know, I really can't explain in words how important is for me."
Berrettini had been a pillar of consistency at the majors, having won his past 21 matches against all opponents other than Novak Djokovic.
For a player who would need to rely so heavily on his serve, there were troubling signs early for the Italian when he was broken for 2-0.
The Spaniard was dominating from the off on his heavy crosscourt forehand, exposing the sixth seed's double-handed backhand.
While Berrettini's slice backhand had served him well en route to his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last year, it was a dangerous ploy on Rod Laver Arena against an opponent who thrived on the extra time it afforded him to pull the trigger.
A reminder of why the Roman earned the nickname "The Hammer" came on set point down when he flattened a forehand winner on the run.
But such counterattacks were all too fleeting against a champion growing in dominance as the match wore on.
There was a grimace of despair skywards from the Italian after being dragged every which way before a botched backhand slice surrendered a 4-0 lead in the second set.
Eighty-seven minutes into the contest and Nadal had opened up a commanding two-set advantage.
The omen was ominous for his opponent.
Of the 20 times the Spaniard had held a two-set lead in a Grand Slam semifinal, he had never gone on to lose.
Berrettini was going to give it a red-hot crack and when he unleashed a 138km/h forehand on the run he landed his first break of the match for 5-3.
Four huge serves and in the blink of an eye he was back in it.
The pair had come through similar quarterfinal battles – both having held two-set leads, only to dip before wresting momentum back again in a deciding set.
Nadal was intent on avoiding the same drawn-out struggle again.
While he missed a backhand on a 23-shot rally for the chance to serve out the clash, he needed only one further invitation before he stepped up and sealed the deal.
A shot at an unprecedented 21st major was now within reach.
"For me it's all about the Australian Open more than anything else," Nadal said. "It's just an amazing event that, as I said a couple of days ago, I had been a little bit unlucky with some injuries.
"There were times I played amazing finals with good chances – against Novak in 2012, against Roger 2017 – I was close a couple of times.
"I feel very lucky that I won it once in my career in 2009 but I never thought about another chance in 2022."