Second-ranked Andy Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, bouncing top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 before a raucous, partisan crowd of 15,000.
At 4-4 in the third, Murray broke, winning the last two points on a wicked forehand down the line and Djokovic's shot into the net. Murray blew three match points on serve before closing it out after four deuces.
"I don't know how I managed to come through that final game, it was unbelievable, three match points," Murray said. "I'm just so glad to finally do it."
Murray called the 3-hour, nine-minute affair an "unbelievably tough match with so many tough games."
"Novak has come back so many times from losing positions, and he almost did the same today," Murray added. "I just managed to squeeze through."
Djokovic told the BBC that Murray "played incredible tennis."
"Congratulations to him and his whole team," Djokovic added. "I know how much it means to them and all of you guys and the whole country. Well done."
Murray dropped last year's final to Roger Federer in four sets after winning the first set, a loss he called one of his career's toughest moments. This time, when he appeared to be faltering in the second set, Murray rallied from 4-1 down. He returned Djokovic's first serve and took advantage of the Serb's mistakes. Then Murray capped the set with one of his nine aces.
With temperatures in the low 80s -- London's hottest day of the year -- Murray won his second Grand Slam title and improved to 8-11 against Djokovic. It was Murray's 18th straight win on grass.
Djokovic committed 40 unforced errors and double-faulted four times. He used all his challenges early, which left him venting frustration at the umpire over a close call in the second set.
Djokovic had played in the longest Wimbledon semifinal ever, a 4-hour, 43-minute thriller over Juan Martin del Potro on Friday.
"It took a lot out of me but I cannot look for excuses in the match two days ago," Djokovic said. "It went five hours and five sets but I've been in these situations before. I felt OK."
Murray and Djokovic, who have played in three of the last four Grand Slam finals, embraced at the net after the match.