Novak Djokovic had to dig deep before maintaining his winning streak against Tomas Berdych in the final of the Monte Carlo Open on Sunday, to take his second career title at the event. He survived a second set resurgence by the sixth-seeded Czech player, before ultimately coming through with a hard-fought 7-5 4-6 6-3 success. It extended the top player's winning streak to six matches over his rival, but his opponent had cause to be satisfied in pushing the top seed so closely for much of the rain-interrupted match.

After comfortably beating the man many believe to be the greatest ever clay court player, Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, the Serb could have been forgiven for believing that the hardest part had been achieved.

Yet, Berdych had shown all week that he was well in tune on the clay and could refer back to their last meeting on the surface back in 2013 in Rome, when the Czech player recorded his last victory over Djokovic. That was one of just two successes he has enjoyed in 20 meetings between the pair prior to the Monte Carlo match-up though, so the favourite's tag was well and truly with Novak.

The first set went to Djokovic at the second opportunity, but not before he had shown signs of frailty for once on his serve, being broken twice by Berdych. Both men were clearly disturbed by the playing conditions on the court that created a slippery surface, with overcast skies ultimately leading to a rain delay during the second set with the score at 3-2 to the top seed.

When the players returned to action around an hour later, Djokovic missed the opportunity to break and handed the initiative back to his rival who accepted it gleefully. A break of his own allowed him to level the match at a set apiece.

Into the deciding set, it was Djokovic who regained his poise to race out to a 4-0 lead as the match looked to be getting away from the Czech player.

He was not quite beaten yet though, avoiding being 'bagelled' 6-0 and finding some inner reserves to battle back into the set. Djokovic was not to be denied though and the champion from two years ago hung on to claim yet another victory in a wonderful season so far. The crowd certainly got their value for money, despite the weather interruption, with the match extending to two hours and 43 minutes of absorbing Tennis.

In clinching the title, Djokovic made another piece of history by claiming the first three events in the Masters' classification this season, the first time that achievement has been done. His wonderful form in 2015 shows little sign of ending, after victories in Indian Wells, Miami and the Grand Slam in Australia. It confirms his place not only as the outstanding player in the world at present, but also as the man to beat when the French Open Grand Slam event comes along towards the end of May.