Wimbledon 2011: Novak Djokovic makes history as he tamed Rafael Nadal to win championship

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NOVAK Djokovic enjoyed what he said was “the best day of my tennis career” yesterday, when he beat Rafael Nadal in four sets to win the Wimbledon title for the first time.
The Serb, whose record for the year is now a scarcely credible played 48, won 47, raced to a two-set lead against the champion, then had to arrest a slump before claiming the title with a 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory.
At 24, Djokovic is now world No 1 for the first time this morning, and thus has a double cause for celebration. “I managed to achieve a lifetime goal and I managed to make my dream come true,” he said. “It’s just an incredible feeling that I’m never going to forget. This is the best day of my tennis career.

 

“For these kind of days, I was practising every day, being dedicated, being a tennis professional. Any athlete in the world dreams of being No 1 of the world. This is something that gives us a lot of motivation. So finally when you really do it and when you know that you’re the best, it’s just an amazing achievement.”

It is also an achievement which was considered impossible by many, who saw Nadal and six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer as invincible. It was at the hands of Federer that Djokovic suffered his one loss of the year to date, in the semi-finals of the French Open, and in past years he has been on the receiving end of big defeats by both the Swiss player and the Spaniard. But he always had faith that he could get the better of them, and that faith has now been realised.

“Sometimes it did feel a little bit frustrating when you got to the later stages of a Grand Slam and then you have to meet them,” he said. “They always come up with their best tennis when it matters the most.

“But it’s a process of learning, a process of developing and improving as a tennis player, as a person, and just finding the way to mentally overcome those pressures and expectations and issues that you have. I always believed that I have the quality to beat those two guys. I always believed I have the quality to win majors. The mental approach has to be positive.”

By STUART BATHGATE, The Scotsman