Novak Djokovic was thrilled to get back to winning ways by claiming yet another Masters 1000 title in Madrid, after a rare blip in an otherwise sparkling season.
The world number one came through an enthralling third set in Sunday's final to beat Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and record a 12th success in his last 13 meetings with the Briton.
Djokovic has now won 29 Masters 1000 events, this latest triumph ensuring he reclaimed the outright record from Rafael Nadal, and boasts five tournament victories in 2016.
Yet he arrived in Madrid having suffered a shock defeat to Jiri Vesely in his first clay-court outing of the season at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.
"I didn't realise how exhausted I was until I started playing in the Monte Carlo tournament and it didn't go that well," said Djokovic.
"I was really eager to get on the practice courts, work hard to get the right rhythm for the clay-court play and I came just at the right time in Madrid, fresh, obviously motivated to play and I did very well.
"This trophy means a lot — it's a great lead-up to Rome [where he will aim to retain the Internazionali d'Italia] and of course the French Open, which I want to approach in the best possible shape.
"All in all, it was just a very pleasing week. I'm satisfied with the way I played from the first to the last match and I'm taking a lot of positive emotions to Rome."
After cruising through the first set against Murray, Djokovic dropped the second and was then pushed by his rival in the decider.
Serving for the match at 5-3, the Serbian was forced to save seven break points before finally prevailing in a mammoth final game.
"It was a tough challenge against Andy — the match could have gone a different way if I had dropped my serve at 5-3," Djokovic acknowledged.
"There were a lot of nerves involved, especially in the third set, but that is what happens when you play at this level against one of the best players in the world, one of the biggest rivals I have throughout my career."