John McEnroe described it as the greatest season in tennis history.
There are still two Masters Series tournaments, the end-of-season ATP world tour finals in London and the concluding stages of the Davis Cup to be played, but it would be hard to disagree with the verdict McEnroe delivered at the end of the US Open.
The Grand Slam season could not have had a better finale as Novak Djokovic, the player of the year by a country mile, beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 in a final of stunning quality that lasted four hours and 10 minutes.
There have been finals of more drama, finals with more twists and turns, finals in which the winner has crushed his opponent more emphatically, but surely no two players have struck the ball with more consistent power or showed such stunning athleticism as Djokovic and Nadal did.
Many of the rallies - several of them 20 strokes or more - had the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium gasping in disbelief as both men retrieved balls from seemingly impossible positions and turned heroic defence into thrilling attack.
At the end of it, for the 10th time in tournaments this year, the crowd was left to acclaim Djokovic as a quite extraordinary champion.
It has been an astonishing year for the 24-year-old Serb. He has won 64 of the 66 matches he has played - his only defeats have been against Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals and against Andy Murray in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, when he retired with a sore shoulder - and won three Grand Slam titles.
He has now beaten Nadal, his predecessor as world No 1 and the winner of the season's other Grand Slam crown at the French Open, in six finals in succession this year.
While Don Budge (in 1938) and Rod Laver (in 1962 and 1969) won all four Grand Slam titles in a single season, Djokovic has achieved his success in an era which until this year had been dominated by two of the greatest players of all time in Nadal and Federer.
The Serb traces the start of his extraordinary run back to last year's US Open, when he saved two match points against Federer in the semifinals before losing to Nadal.
"At this level you need those tough matches against the top guys in order to get confidence, to get self-belief on the court that you can really win majors and win the big matches," Djokovic said.
"I guess it just clicked in my head. I think that throughout the last couple of years I haven't changed my game in any major way. Most of the strokes are the same that they were in the last two or three years.
"It's just that I'm now hitting the shots that I maybe wasn't hitting in the last two or three years. I'm going for it, I'm more aggressive, and I have just a different approach to the semifinals and finals of major events, especially when I'm playing two great champions, Rafa and Roger.
"In the last couple of years, that wasn't the case. I was always trying to wait for their mistakes and not really having the positive attitude and believing that I can win. This has changed and the US Open 2010 was definitely one of the turning points in my career."
Djokovic believes another key to his success has been playing to a more sensible schedule. "I know when to have a little break, when to rest my body, when to get ready and prepare," he said.
"The bottom line is that the most important thing is to win Grand Slams, because they are the four most important tournaments in our sport. This is where you want to win. Right now I feel drained emotionally, physically and mentally, but it's normal after such a long year and so many matches. But I have this trophy here and this is what I was fighting for."
Nadal, who believes that the main changes in Djokovic this year have been his confidence and his cutting down on mistakes, said he had been happy with his season, particularly as he had added another French Open title to his Grand Slam collection.
"I was in the final of Wimbledon and the final of the US Open. I fought for both of them."
- IndependentBy Paul Newman