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Djokovic hungry for more titles at All England Club

The new Wimbledon champion can also vouch that grass on Centre Court 'tastes good'.

Novak Djokovic tastes the rye grass on Centre Court after his victory against Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
Novak Djokovic tastes the rye grass on Centre Court after his victory against Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

LONDON // Kneeling on the Centre Court grass a few minutes after becoming the Wimbledon champion for the first time, Novak Djokovic wanted to really taste victory.

Djokovic won his third grand slam title by beating the defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in Sunday's final at the All England Club. Then, savouring his success and basking in the moment, the second-seeded Serb dropped to the ground and pulled out a few blades of grass and ate them.

"I felt like an animal," said Djokovic, who had already guaranteed himself the No 1 ranking just by reaching the final. "I wanted to see how it tastes. It tastes good."

Djokovic has been on quite a run this year. He started the season by winning 41 successive matches, including the Australian Open title. His 43-match winning streak, dating to last year's Davis Cup final, and perfect season came to end against Roger Federer in the French Open semi-finals, but he is now 48-1 in 2011.

Shortly after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four to secure the top ranking from Nadal, Djokovic knew he would be up against a man he has dominated this season.

Before this year, Nadal had won 16 of the 23 matches he played against Djokovic, including all five in majors. But Djokovic beat Nadal in four finals in 2011 heading into Wimbledon, including two on clay, Nadal's preferred surface.

"I had that in back of my mind," Djokovic said. "I was trying to take myself back to those matches and really perform the same way that I performed those days in those matches: aggressive, taking my chances, not giving him opportunity to take over the control."

Nadal had his own streak to rely on, however. The 10-time grand slam champion had won 20 consecutive matches at SW19, including two of the previous three titles. He missed the 2009 tournament because of injury, but was playing in his fifth Wimbledon final in six years.

The latest loss to Djokovic was Nadal's first in a major final to a player other than Federer.

"He's doing great. He's doing a few things fantastic," Nadal said. "But I had to play better to win, and I didn't. I played a little bit less aggressive."

Djokovic's quick movement and precise placement were key as the Serb consistently landed shots while taking advantage of any slight miscues from Nadal.

Sitting in the Royal Box along with several former champions was Boris Tadic, the Serbian president, and when Nadal sent a backhand long on match point, Djokovic turned to face them and dropped to the turf.

"I will definitely come for some more Wimbledons ... I mean, this is what I'm born for," said Djokovic. "I want to be a tennis champion. I want to win more grand slams."