Britain’s Andy Murray gave himself the perfect birthday present as he won his first Italian Open title with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Novak Djokovic.
It was a first win on clay against Djokovic in five attempts for the Scot, who turned 29 on Sunday.
He broke serve once in the first set and twice in the second in Rome to win in one hour and 35 minutes.
Murray will return to second in the world rankings before the French Open, which begins on 22 May.
He broke the world number one early in the first set, leaving Djokovic who beat the Scotin last week’s Madrid Open final- visibly frustrated and exchanging words with umpire Damian Steiner.
A deft drop shot at set point saw Murray take the opener 6-3 amid light rain in Rome.
Murray then fought back from break point down to hold serve in the second set, before staving off another two in his next service game.
A frustrated Djokovic, 28, complained rain was making the Foro Italico surface “too dangerous”, but he was told to continue by umpire Steiner, and Murray immediately broke the world number one.