It was not until an hour and 28 minutes in the Serb registered his second game of the match. He would add only two more before Nadal broke for 3-2, already with a two-set buffer.
Djokovic managed to thread a backhand in behind the Spaniard to break for the first time and rouse a vocal contingent of Serbian supporters at 3-all in the third, but it was his last hurrah.
A double fault surrendered serve at 5-all to hand the No.2 seed the chance to serve for the title and he never blinked. Three championship points arrived and Nadal needed just one as an ace sealed the result.
"What you’re doing in tennis is something very, very special," Nadal said to his vanquished opponent. "Honestly, it's a pleasure in some way sharing this great era of tennis together. On the other hand it has been tough battles for a long time so I just hope to keep facing you on court for the next couple of years.
"We are facing very challenging moments and I think Novak and I in the same way are saying that we are very lucky that we can keep playing our sport... Everybody knows here this court is the most important court in my tennis career. The court that I enjoy more special moments and today was one of these."