World no. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated world top ranked Novak Djokovic in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to win the Italian Open title.
The final has been delayed for a day after interrupted by persistent raining.
The victory is Nadal’s third Italian Open victory in four years, with his winning streak interrupted last year by Djokovic. The win also moved Nadal back to No. 2 in the rankings, ahead of Roger Federer.
Nadal had won back-to-back trophies in Rome in 2009 and 2010 before Djokovic halted that run by beating the Spaniard in last year’s final.
Djokovic played well at the start but the turning point came midway through the 10th game when a line judge called the Serbian’s shot out.
The umpire overruled the decision, but Nadal won the replayed point then held his serve to make it even at 5-5.
Djokovic appeared to be in control of the match, holding to love, while Nadal was struggling with his serve, only landing 48 per cent of his first attempts.
But Nadal held and then broke in the next game, drawing Djokovic to the net before sending a sharp volley past him.
Djokovic was so frustrated that he smashed his racket against a net post and was given accordingly a warning.
Nadal took the first set with the second of three set points and Djokovic was immediately broken again in the second set as Nadal continued to control the match to clinch the win.