Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the winners trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London July 3, 2011. Reuters

New world number one Novak Djokovic lived up to his ranking with a masterful performance in the final of the Wimbledon Championships after beating Rafael Nadal in four sets at the Centre Court.

In an encounter which lasted nearly two and a half hours, Djokovic came out on top with a 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Nadal, who wasn't quite the Rafa of old. Djokovic stuck to the tried and tested policy of forcing Nadal wide and working him at his backhand. And it paid off.

The Serb had tentative moments of his own though, especially in the third set when he committed quite a few unforced errors, which helped Nadal get back into the game.

The game opened with both players fiercly comepting for blow-to-blow. The first break point took as long as the 10th game, showing how close the match was. It came when Nadal netted his return before sending a forehand wide, giving Djokovic the set in 42 minutes.

The next set saw Djokovic impose himself over the Spaniard, heavily pressurizing his backhand and attacking his serve. He soon broke him, double broke him and took the set 6-1. The tables turned in the third set though, as Nadal fought back with violence to register a 6-1 win, and give himself a fighting chance.

Djokovic broke Nadal in the third game of the fourth to give himself a sight of the Championship, but the defending champion broke back in the very next game to set the game back on serve. However, in the seventh game Nadal committed an unprecedented double-fault before sending his forehand wide helping Djokovic to a crucial break.

The Serb served for the set, gained three Championship points and took the second one, winning his first ever Wimbledon title. To mark the moment, he crouched down, took a blade of grass and ate it.

Djokovic later said, It is the best day of my life. This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning. I think I am still sleeping, still dreaming. When you're playing the best player in the world ... I had to be on top of my game. I played probably my best match on grass courts ever.