Novak Djokovic came from a set down to beat Rafael Nadal for the fourth time in a row and claim his third Rome Masters title with an impressive 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory here on Sunday.
World No. 2 Djokovic was broken twice in the first set as Nadal moved towards an eighth Rome title but he came roaring back to dominate the defending champion after that.
“After three years it is a pleasure to win this trophy again. Rafa has such a tough game and is a difficult opponent always with his game and style,” said Djokovic after match.
Defeat for Nadal was his third on clay in a season for the first time in a decade and raised questions about his form ahead of the French Open which starts next Sunday.
Djokovic will arrive at Roland Garros on a high after collecting the 44th title of his career to draw level with former French Open champion Thomas Muster.
In the women's event, Serena Williams successfully defended her title with a crushing 6-3 6-0 victory over local favourite Sara Errani 6-3 6-0 — her 60th WTA crown. Serena also became the first player on the WTA to lift three trophies this season.
ATP Rome Masters: Final: Novak Djokovic bt Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Semifinal: Nadal bt Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2.
WTA Italian Open: Final: Serena Williams bt Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0; Semifinals: Williams bt Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.