Andy Murray ended Britain's agonising 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's singles champion yesterday when he destroyed world No 1 Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the blistering heat of the All England Club.
The 26-year-old became the country's first male winner since Fred Perry in 1936, the year the Spanish Civil War started, Jesse Owens defied Hitler at the Berlin Olympics and Gone With The Wind was published.
It was Murray's second grand slam title to follow his breakthrough triumph at the US Open in 2012 which followed his Olympic gold medal as well as a heartbreaking, tearful loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.
However, yesterday's title showdown, between two men who have now contested three of the last four grand slam finals, rarely lived up to expectations.
Both struggled in the stifling 40-degree Celsius heat and the top-seeded Serb, who had beaten Murray in the Australian Open final in January, looked jaded after his record four hour, 43-minute semi-final victory over Juan Martin del Potro.
And despite leads of 4-1 in the second set and 4-2 in the third, he was out-hit by Murray who finished with 36 winners to 31, with 21 unforced errors to the Serb's 40 and having carved out 17 break points.
Murray, the second seed, broke top seed Djokovic twice in the first set on a baking Centre Court and held serve to love to clinch it in exactly an hour.
Djokovic regrouped quickly, however, and led 4-1 in the second set before Murray roared back, breaking the rattled top seed twice to take it 7-5.
Murray led 2-0 in the third set with Djokovic looking beaten but the Serb hit back to win the next four games.
Murray responded to break serve twice and served for the match at 5-4.
He led 40-0 but Djokovic saved all three championship points before Murray clinched victory at the fourth attempt after three hours nine minutes when the Serbian netted a backhand, sparking wild celebrations around the court.
"That was one of the toughest moments, today was unbelievably tough match," Murray said. "I don't know how I came through the final three points, I'm so glad to do it.
"I have played Novak many times and when everyone finishes playing, he will go down as one of the fighters. He did the same today and that is what made it tough. I understand how much everyone wanted to see British winner at Wimbledon and I hope everyone enjoyed it."
Djokovic was gracious in defeat. "Congratulations to Andy you absolutely deserved it, you played incredibly," the six-times grand slam champion said.
"I know what it means to you guys in the whole country so well done. It is a great achievement."
Agence France-Presse, Reuters