Djokovic beats Federer to win fourth Italian Open

Rome, Italy ( - Novak Djokovic captured his fourth Italian Open title with a straight-set victory over Roger Federer on Sunday.

The world No. 1 stalwart Djokovic claimed his fifth title of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the second-seeded Federer.

Djokovic moved past Federer with his 24th ATP Masters 1000 crown, just three shy of all-time titles leader Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic improved to 19-20 lifetime against Federer, including 2-1 this year. After Federer beat Djokovic in the Dubai final, Djokovic returned the favor at Indian Wells. Djokovic is 3-0 against Federer in Rome, winning semifinal matches in 2009 and 2012.

"I was able to find my way through," said Djokovic. "Roger put a lot of pressure on my service game at 4-4, but I managed to respond well, to gain those break points, move him around the court, and then I played a couple of great points that gave me the set. When you're a set up, the momentum is shifting to your side and you start to feel better."

The 27-year-old Djokovic is now 35-2 on the season, which includes titles at the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open, the Miami Open and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. He has won 22 matches in a row since his last loss to Federer in the Doha final.

Djokovic is also on a 37-match winning streak at the highest-level tournaments: Grand Slams, ATP Masters 1000s and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The run dates back to his title in Paris-Bercy last November.

The Serbian star also won this French Open tune-up in 2008 and 2011 in addition to last year and was a finalist in 2009 and 2012, losing to Nadal both times.

Federer, who was competing in Rome for the 15th time, is still chasing a first title here, falling in the final four times.

"I know I can play better," said Federer. "Novak was rock solid today, he played great throughout. He made very few unforced errors. I'm happy, feeling good and healthy."

Djokovic, who took home $708,000 with the victory, improved to 53-23 in title matches. Federer fell to 85-44 in finals.