Rome: Novak Djokovic fought back to stun defending champion and seven-time winner Rafael Nadal of Spain to claim the Rome Masters 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns to Spain's Rafael Nadal during their Rome Masters final at the Foro Italico in Rome yesterday. Pic/AFP
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns to Spain's Rafael Nadal during their Rome Masters final at the Foro Italico in Rome yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Serbia's World No 2 Djokovic claimed his third title on the red clay of Rome, having won in 2008 and 2011, the latter also being with a victory over Spaniard Nadal.

Nadal had been looking to stretch his record of seven titles but despite a dominant first-set display Spain's World No 1 allowed unforced errors to creep into his game as Djokovic launched a valiant fightback and put himself in pole position to win a first French Open next month.

41
Number of times Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic have met on the Tour with Nadal leading the head-to-head 22-19