Joy and pain in Paris
Three hours after Robin Soderling's final forehand dropped into the net, Roger Federer was still going strong.
Switching effortlessly between languages, and lifting his new prized possession, the Coupe Des Mousquetaires, from camera to camera, Federer granted every single interview request.
In a telling move, Federer cut back his media duties as soon as his great rival Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the tournament. Only contractual obligations were fulfilled through until the final but, in the aftermath of his finest hour in Paris, there was time for everyone.
Conversations in French, English, Swiss-German - TV, radio, print - studio visits, live link-ups, plus his regular knockabout with the cheery folk at Japanese station "Wow Wow". (Yes they are for real. Often at tournaments we'll walk past commentary boxes with "Wow Wow" on the door and keep our distance, fearing dubious activities inside, only to hear good things about their Banzai-meets-Sportsnight tennis coverage.)
Tipsy on emotion, he even had to restart a conversation with the man from CNN after getting into a long answer, only to stop, smiling, to say; "sorry, I've forgotten what you asked me!".
All this happened in the bowels of Court Phillppe Chatrier, the famous old centre court in Paris, where hours earlier Federer had won the title he so desperately craved and desperately deserved.
Not just because it would equal Pete Sampras' all-time record of 14 major titles, not just because it would enlist him into the Executive Club of Champions who have completed the set of Grand Slam titles, but because Federer is a remarkable clay-court player.
Without the incredible Nadal, he would almost certainly be a multiple Roland Garros champion. Mats Wilander, the three-time winner in Paris, told me he thinks Federer is "the third or fourth best clay-court player of all time". Quite a statement.
So many of the modern-day greats never managed to win at Roland Garros - Sampras, McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg, the list goes on. Now Federer has completed the set and it is hard to know which is the most impressive statistic on his list of achievements.
He has contested 15 of the last 16 Grand Slam finals and has featured in the semi-finals or better at the last 20 majors. Just think about that for a second and match it with your own favourite sport. Does anyone come close to that sort of consistency at the highest level?
Admittedly he didn't have to play any of his rivals in the "big four" to take the title, but he had different challenges along the way - 5-1 down in the third set to Jose Acasuso, a set down to Paul-Henri Mattieu and two sets to one down to Juan Martin Del Potro, a Paris champion of the future, as well as being two sets down (and then a break point in the third) to Tommy Haas.
Federer's flashing forehand which struck the last fleck of sideline paint, serving at 2-2 third set against the German, 30-40 down, will go down as the defining shot of the tournament.
The moment of triumph in the final was followed by the inevitably emotional reaction. The single teardrop draining from the left eye during the Swiss national anthem was a poignant moment of reflection - a moment to consider the enormity of this sporting achievement and all it takes (athleticism, dexterity, pace, fitness, determination, concentration etc) to lift one athlete to a never-achieved-before feat.
The previous day there were different tears. Tears not just of disappointment but of embarrassment and profound insecurity.
Dinara Safina had looked virtually unbeatable during much of the tournament and, indeed, most of the clay-court season.
Back-to-back titles in Rome and Madrid had confirmed her as the world's most in-form player and many expected her to justify her number one ranking with a debut major title.
But as she served to the advantage court, championship point down to Svetlana Kuznetsova after a ragged performance, Safina's first serve looped painfully into the bottom of the net followed by a second which flicked off the net cord and bounced wide.
Her eyes instantly flashed to her coach at the far end in the players' box and never was there a more fragile looking figure. Millions watched the despair in her eyes as she searched in vain for an explanation. And not for one second did they look like the eyes of a world number one.
She continues to be a masterful baseliner with a cross-court backhand which has become one of the most feared weapons in the women's game, but careers are not judged in places such as Rome and Madrid.
They are ultimately defined by performances in the Grand Slam cities of Melbourne, Paris, London and New York and in three major finals, Safina has failed to win a set.
Even if Serena Williams triumphs on the grass of Wimbledon, to hold three of the four majors, we are told that Safina is projected to remain top of the list until the last week of July at the earliest.
But congratulations to Kuznetsova, one of the hardest-working players on either tour, who deserved her second major and there will now be obvious attention on her at the All-England Club in a fortnight's time.
As there will on Michelle Larcher De Brito, the 16-year-old from Portugal, who was surprisingly handed a main-draw wildcard along with Laura Robson and the usual collection of Brits on Monday night.
De Brito became a minor sensation at Roland Garros with her ridiculous screaming during rallies. She also has a very unsporting habit of wildly celebrating opponents' errors.
One of her opponents in Paris complained, the umpire told her to turn the noise down, but nothing further was done and she charmed us afterwards with an engaging defence of her one-woman cacophony.
But the authorities are known to be concerned (there is pretty much universal agreement that the screams (not grunts) are way over the top) and she now faces a tabloid frenzy at SW19.
The newshounds will chase her down Somerset Road and the radio programmes will be full of her high-pitched firework display, unless her advisors can get her to see sense.
Her tennis is good enough to make the headlines but, if she draws a top seed in the first round and gets placed on Centre Court (possibly under the roof), there will only be one story in town.