Novak Djokovic dashed Roger Federer's hopes of winning a record eighth Wimbledon crown as the Serb ripped up the script to defend his title at the All England Club.
Federer's form had suggested he was capable of clinching his first grand slam success since 2012 but Djokovic ousted the Swiss for the second year running to win 7-6 (7/1) 6-7 (10/12) 6-4 6-3.
A stunning second-set tie-break went Federer's way on Centre Court but Djokovic was irresistible thereafter, sealing his ninth major triumph, which now includes three at Wimbledon.
If that was nail-biting, the tie-break was stomach-churning as Djokovic seemed to have a two-set lead all-but wrapped up when he raced 6-3 clear.
Federer, however, came storming back, saving all three set points, the last of which saw him unleash a scintillating backhand down the line after Djokovic had the court at his mercy.
Five minutes of exhilarating tennis ensued as Djokovic spurned his sixth and seventh set points before Federer finally clinched his second, as a cool backhand volley sealed a 12-10 victory and sparked pandemonium on Centre Court.
He earns a cool £1.88 million for his victory, while Federer takes home £940,000 as runner-up.