Djokovic's 'outrageous' season
People often ask if sports commentators pre-prepare special lines to mark extraordinary moments. For the most part, the truth is we don't.
Sometimes you summarise your thoughts and make the odd note, but scripting commentary is a bad idea. You lose the spontaneity of the moment if you do.
And so I found myself listening back to the best bits of Novak Djokovic's remarkable 2011 season for a 5 live Sport Special (Thursday from 2030 GMT) and was struck by the moment he beat Rafa Nadal in the Rome final back in May.
Remember this was still the clay-court spring, with three of the four majors still to be played. Djokovic's win was a seventh title of the year and a fourth win in Masters 1000 finals over the world number one.
"He's still unbeaten!... It's OUTRAGEOUS...!!"
My portacabin, high on scaffolding above the Foro Italico, was shaking from the spectators jumping around in the stand.
He had edged past Andy Murray in the semis and returned to win a terrific final with Nadal. That weekend there was a sense, certainly I had it, that his amazing run was about to end. It had to sometime, didn't it?
Novak Djokovic won three of the four majors in 2011 - including Wimbledon
This for me was the big weekend in Djokovic's season - the weekend which told us that, in 2011, anything was going to be possible for the Serb.
Marian Vajda, his coach and friend, feels that way, too. "That was the time I really thought he can be number one after beating Nadal in front of his home crowd and then again in Rome," he told BBC Radio 5live Sport in a rare interview.
"I really had a feeling that going into the French Open he could go for the highest goal and reach the final, maybe win against Nadal. It's all you can wish for in one year. All you can do now is wish [for] a good Christmas, relax, and prepare for the new season."
Another interesting feature of the Vajda interview is the acceptance that Djokovic pushed himself too hard after Wimbledon, perhaps fuelled by the feeling of invincibility or tempted by the scent of history. "He wasn't paying attention to his body" says Vajda, candidly.
It was this admirable devotion to the practice court which Vajda believes contributed to Djokovic's shoulder problems which then persisted through until the end of the year and dented his season stats.
He may have ended with six defeats, but two were injury retirements, two were in the final week of the season and one was when he hit the wall against Kei Nishikori in Basle.
It would surely be fair to say that, when fully fit, he lost only one match during a gruelling 11-month season. Would it therefore also be fair to say that Djokovic was ultimately penalised for his success?
Had he shut down his season after New York, history would truly have been rewritten. He had only lost twice by that point.
His win/loss ratio of 70-6 isn't one that will jump out of the history books in future years - Federer went 81-4 in 2005, McEnroe 84-3 in 1984 - but I believe it should be regarded as one of the greatest seasons ever because he beat Nadal and Federer, two of the greatest players of all-time, a total of 10 times.
This is what has made tennis so compelling this year - the sheer frequency of the big-name showdowns. This is what has made Djokovic's 2011 story so remarkable. He won virtually all of them.
More seasoned tennis watchers than me believe we're unlikely to see the like of it again. It was, simply, "outrageous".
You can listen again to the 5 live Tennis special on Novak Djokovic's amazing year on the BBC iPlayer until 22 December.