Novak Djokovic has hailed his vanquished Roland Garros opponent Rafael Nadal, saying dethroning the king of clay was like conquering his own tennis Everest.
As the tennis world, and beyond - even Cher was left tweeting her admiration - reacted to one of the game's all-time classic matches in the French Open semi-final on Friday, Djokovic was quick to pay tribute to the vanquished 13-times champion in Paris.
"It's hard to find words bigger than all the superlatives you can think of for Rafa's achievements in Roland Garros," said the world No.1 following his incredible 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory carved out over nearly four and a quarter breathtaking hours.
"Definitely the best match I was part of ever in Roland Garros and one of top three matches I ever played in my entire career, considering the quality, playing my biggest rival on the court where he's had so much success and been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years.
"The amount of wins that he has made on this court (Philippe Chatrier) is incredible. Each time you step on the court with him, you know you have to kind of climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here.
"I mean, he has been the most dominant player of the Roland Garros history. He lost two - now three times - in his entire career. He's been playing here almost 20 years. That achievement speaks for itself.
"I won only once in our eight matches that we ever played in Chatrier. It's a match I'll always remember."
Djokovic said he'd tried to take some "positives and clues" from when he'd been the last man to beat Nadal at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals six years ago. "Which worked out very nicely," he added.
Luminaries throughout the game hailed the contest, with Chris Evert reckoning if you were to give it a film title it would have to be "the greatest match ever played."
Andy Murray enthused on Twitter: "You cannot play better clay court tennis than this. It's perfect."
Three-time former French champion Mats Wilander reckoned on Eurosport the pair "are not human", saying he'd never seen a better clay-court match.
German star Mischa Zverev, brother of semi-finalist Alexander Zverev, said they'd played "at a level that's from another planet."
He added: "At times, it felt they're playing a computer game because no matter where they hit the ball, (a) it's landing in and (b) the other guy is already there and it feels impossible that they can make winners, but they still do."
The final word went to a breathless Cher.
"There Is No Doubt Djokovic Is a major Machine," tweeted the songstress. "Rafa Takes Your heart."