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Grass-chewing Djokovic enjoys sweet taste of success

Bjorn Borg sunk to his knees, Pat Cash clambered up the stands to hug friends and family in the players' box and Novak Djokovic celebrated his first Wimbledon triumph on Sunday by chewing grass. That is grass he uprooted from Centre Court.

July 04, 2011 / 08:23 AM IST

Bjorn Borg sunk to his knees, Pat Cash clambered up the stands to hug friends and family in the players' box and Novak Djokovic celebrated his first Wimbledon triumph on Sunday by chewing grass.


That is grass he uprooted from Centre Court.


Moments after watching Rafa Nadal's backhand sail long, Djokovic collapsed on to his back as 15,000 fans rose to their feet to salute Serbia's first Wimbledon singles champion.


For the next minute, Djokovic's victory celebrations followed a pattern seen many times before on the most famous stage in tennis.


He held his arms aloft and tested the limits of his lungs with a long roar into a corner.


As Serbian president Boris Tadic leapt off his seat in the Royal Box and punched the air in delight, Djokovic crouched down, inspected the worn out grass court in front of him.


Then in a scene never before witnessed at Wimbledon, he tore up a tuft of grass and popped it into his mouth, savouring the taste of his triumph.


"I felt like an animal. I wanted to see how it tastes. It tastes good," grinned Djokovic, who is fast gaining a reputation for unusual celebrations after shaving his hair off on court following Serbia's Davis Cup triumph last December.


"It came spontaneously really. I didn't plan to do it. You know, I didn't know what to do for my excitement and joy."


With that one swift action, he had now used all five of his senses to enjoy his victory.


The hollering fans made sure Djokovic could hear his triumph.


He could see and touch his success thanks to the gilded Challenge Cup that was finally in his possession.


But that was not enough for Djokovic, who also wanted to smell and taste "the most special day" of his life.


"It's really hard to describe this in words. It's the best day of my life, it's the most special day of my life," Djokovic, hugging the trophy tightly to his chest, said following his 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 win over the man he will leapfrog as world number one on Monday.


"This is what I'm born for. It's just an incredible feeling that I'm never going to forget.


"This is my favourite tournament, the tournament I always dreamed of winning. The first tennis tournament I ever watched in my life and I think I'm still sleeping and dreaming."


The sweet taste of success and the sight of his emotional friends and family hugging and dancing in the players' box will ensure this is no dream for Djokovic.


The Serbian second seed was already assured of leap-frogging Nadal at the top of the world rankings and he continued his spectacular year by claiming the trophy he has always dreamed of lifting above his head.


Top seed Nadal had not lost at the grasscourt grand slam since the 2007 final against Roger Federer, a 20-match streak, but could not live with Djokovic in the grand finale to the 125th Wimbledon championships.


It was not the classic final widely expected but that was largely to do with the staggering quality of Djokovic's play as he claimed his third grand slam title.


Despite winning 47 of his 48 matches this year and beating Nadal in four consecutive finals, the 24-year-old started as the underdog having never got the better of the Spaniard in a grand slam match.

In the end, he threw three rackets into the crowd before closing his eyes to absorb the enormity of his achievement in breaking the Roger Federer/Nadal domination of the tournament stretching back to 2003.

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