ROME, May 15 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic stayed red hot Sunday, taking a straight-set victory from top-ranked Rafael Nadal to seal the BNL international tennis tournament in Rome.
The Serbian star posted 6-4, 6-4 decision over Nadal to run his 2011 to 37-0, the longest winning streak to start a year since John McEnroe went 42-0 to begin the 1984 season.
The accomplishment was all the more remarkable in that Nadal, dubbed "The King of Clay," entered title match with a 31-1 lifetime record in Rome, having never dropped a championship match at the event.
Nadal had collected five Rome titles crowns in six years -- including a victory over Djokovic in the 2009 final. This year, however, the Serb has had the upper hand, beating the Spaniard four times in a row, including at the Madrid final last week.