Ronnie O'Sullivan accepts Mark Selby is setting a staggeringly high standard in snooker after the world No. 1 added the UK Championship title to his Crucible crown.
Not even O'Sullivan at his best on Sunday night could deny Selby glory at the York Barbican, as the Leicester man scooped a 10-7 victory and £170,000 in prize money.
The match ended extraordinarily with five centuries in the closing six frames, including three total clearances in succession and closing back-to-back tons from Selby to fend off the charging O'Sullivan.
From 7-2 adrift, five-time UK champion O'Sullivan powered back to trail just 8-7 on the back of breaks of 56, 80, 134, 130 and 82.
Momentum was swinging his way, only for Selby to find a champion's response, dashing in runs of 134 and 107 to power over the winning line.
O'Sullivan said: "I think I did all right considering he's world No. 1 and so far ahead of everyone else.
"Mark's done well to him so congratulations to him. I enjoyed my game, I just missed too many balls to win tournaments.
"There were so many I should have got and probably two or three years ago would have got. In spells I was okay but 'spells' is not good enough. If you want to dominate and strike fear into your opponent you can't afford to miss easy chances.
"He's a fantastic player, he's won a lot of tournaments and he's a very tough match player. He's got the all-round game."
As Selby lifted the trophy, the 33-year-old from Leicester became only the sixth player in the sport to have secured the World Championship and UK titles in the same calendar year, matching O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Parrott and John Higgins.
Wife Vikki and daughter Sofia were on hand to share in Selby's special moment, and he begins a 95th consecutive week as world number one, looking set to stay there for a long time yet.
Monday, meanwhile, marks O'Sullivan's 41st birthday.
Selby said. "If I never won another tournament I'd be happy with my achievements."
The probability is he will secure many more titles, and after the mental and physical effort it requires to win such an event Selby is not afraid to unwind.
He was soon the centre of attention at an after-show party, and fancied a late night, just as was the case when he landed his first UK title four years ago.
"I'm having flashbacks to 2012," Selby said, recalling how that night unfolded. "I strolled out of the after-party at 7.30 in the morning, went back to the hotel and went and had breakfast with nine or 10 other families, then went back to the room to get two hours' sleep.
"I woke up at 10 o'clock and thought 'I'll go down for some breakfast', and the woman in the dining room told me I'd already been down and I didn't believe her. It may be similar tonight."