The king of clay reclaims his throne
And so Rafael Nadal is back ruling his clay-court kingdom and we shouldn't be remotely surprised.
To close the red-shale season unbeaten, with a perfect record from his seven matches at Roland Garros, emphasised his superiority on the slowest surface.
His win over Robin Soderling, in a dominant final performance, also emphasised that his defeat in 2009 - his only loss in six years here - probably requires an asterisk in the history books.
He went for almost an entire year without a title - from Rome 2009 to Monte Carlo 2010 - but now he has won four in a row, three Masters and one major.
The barren spell was similar, in many ways, to that endured by Roger Federer from October 2008 to Madrid 2009. The Swiss predictably rebounded by winning the French and Wimbledon last summer and Nadal appears more than capable of managing the same feat.
Collapsing to the ground not once but twice emphasised the importance of this victory and the importance of the journey he has taken.
Nadal joined Bjorn Borg as the only man to have won five or more French Open titles. Photograph: AP.
We love to watch sports stars rise to the top and we love to see them dominate. But there is something even more addictive about watching a deposed champion scale the heights once more.
Was I the only one concerned when watching Nadal at the end of last year, giving everything at the ATP World Tour Finals but finishing bottom of his group?
Not writing him off, not saying he was finished, just concerned.
This wasn't the same Rafa. The same gusto, the same determination, but not the same Rafa.
Did he have doubts himself?
"Sure, I had doots" he admitted, with one of his endearing 'Rafa-isms'. "Everybody has doots."
But all doubts were banished at Roland Garros 2010, where he also reclaimed the world number one ranking from Federer. We saw the familiar sight - as in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid - of Nadal dominating on the clay, bruising opponents physically and mentally.
His opponents threw everything - especially Lleyton Hewitt, Thomaz Bellucci and Nicolas Almagro, as well as Jurgen Melzer in the third set of the semi - but they didn't win a set between them as Nadal racked up his fifth French Open title and his seventh Grand Slam.
Robin Soderling ran him close in the first set of the final and the early exchanges of the second but even his head started to slump in the third. He clocked the inevitability as we all did, although impressively he fought to the end.
He had a terrific tournament, including one of the performances of the year so far to beat Federer in the quarter-finals, and I really hope he carries this form on to other surfaces.
Never beyond the fourth round of Wimbledon before and - get this - never beyond the second round of the Australian Open, a man with his gifts should be a major threat on all surfaces.
It wasn't a classic French Open but the enduring images will be of two likeable Europeans who couldn't stop smiling. And the glow created by the beaming faces of champions Rafa Nadal and Francesca Schiavone could have illuminated the darkest of nights.