Nicoll received a bye through the preliminary rounds
Chrystall Nicoll produced the performance of her career to pick up the bronze medal at the Klagenfurt leg of the World Cup in Austria.
Three fine victories took the 23-year-old British fencer, ranked 10th, into the last four, where she lost to eventual winner Irene Vecchi.
World number eight Vecchi won 15-8, despite a rally from her opponent.
"I'm really pleased with my performance and the confidence it has given me," said Nicoll.
"I'm looking forward to building on this success in the remainder of the season and on to the 2012 Olympic Games."
There was another good result for Great Britain as Jo Hutchison reached the quarter-finals.
She defeated world number nine Orsolya Nagy 15-11 in the last 16 before losing to Italian Alessandra Lucchino in the next round.