Djokovic: 'I didn't know what to do for my joy so I ate the grass. I felt like an animal'

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The Independent Online

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon champion and new world No 1, had a message for his rivals. "This is what I'm born for," the 24-year-old Serb said last night after his victory over Rafael Nadal.

"I want to win more Grand Slams. I will definitely not stop here, even though I have achieved the two biggest things in my life in the last three days."

Djokovic said that winning was "the best feeling I ever had on the tennis court. Winning Wimbledon, looking at my box, 20 people, the closest people to me in my life being there, supporting me, getting to share that moment and that experience with them was incredible".

He added: "It's just an incredible feeling that I'm never going to forget. This is the best day of my tennis career."

Asked why he had played serve-and-volley at 30-30 in the final game, Djokovic said: "It was now or never. Just close your eyes, hit slice, go to the net, and hope he will chip the one back. You have to take the chances. In those moments, you have to believe that you can do it."

The Serb ate the court grass at the end because he "felt like an animal". He added: "I wanted to see how it tastes. It tastes good. It came spontaneously. I didn't plan to do it. I didn't know what to do for my excitement and joy."

The new world No 1 said that leading Serbia to their Davis Cup victory in December had been the key to his extraordinary run this year.

"After the Davis Cup win I was full of life, full of energy, eager to come back to the tennis court, eager to play some more, win some other tournaments," he said.

"In a sentence, I lost my fear. I believed in my abilities more than ever."

Nadal said he had been beaten by the better player on the day but felt he had played the big points poorly and that he had not been aggressive enough.

"I lost because I was playing the best player in the world at the moment and I am the second best," he said. "But my experience says this level is not for ever. Novak's level of today is probably not for ever. I'm going to be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment."

Admirably philosophical, Nadal added: "Three weeks ago I was winning at Roland Garros. Today I was playing the final here and I lost. That's sport. We started 128 players. One has to win and I was second. It's a good result for me."