Rafael Nadal will wake up to life on Monday morning as a former world tennis number one and former Wimbledon champion after losing to Novak Djokovic in the final at the All England Club on Sunday.
The Serbian, who had already guaranteed himself the number-one spot in the rankings by reaching the final, beat the Mallorcan in four sets- 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3- to steal Nadal's Wimbledon crown for his third Grand Slam title following two Australian Open wins.
It was Djokovic's fifth victory over Nadal this season, but his first ever in a Grand Slam tournament and extends his remarkable 2011 run to 50 wins in 51 matches.
After triumphing in a close first set, Djokovic swept through the second until a dip in form at the start of the third saw the advantage seemingly swing toward Nadal, who capitalized by rushing to a 6-1 win in the set. But after successfully defending another break point at the start of the fourth, Djokovic rediscovered his momentum and, despite a stroke of luck for Nadal that saw a shot clip the net and roll in and offer a momentary way back, stormed to his first Wimbledon title.
"For me it was a difficult final against a rival who was too much for me," said Nadal. "Today it was impossible to win. I'll return to try again next year."