Nadal held serve at love to reach 5-3 before blasting a forehand down the line forehand winner to break serve to reach 5-4.
After saving three sets points, Nadal held serve to draw even at 5 all after Djokovic would hit a backhand return wide on game point.
However Nadalís plan to attack Djokovicís backhand would falter as a second backhand crosscourt winner at 6-5 would lead to a break of serve for the Serbian and a 7-5 lead.
Nadal broke serve to go ahead 1-0 in the second set before Djokovic would hit a backhand down the line winner on breakpoint to level the set at 1 all.
The set then remained on serve until the final game of the match with Nadal serving at 4-5.
A Djokovic overhead winner followed by two backhand winners would result in three matchpoints for the world number two.
A Nadal backhand down the line hit wide on matchpoint ended the match with a final break of serve.
For Djokovic, the match would be his 32nd ATP Tour match win in a row for this year.
And in a telling sign of his aggressiveness for the day, Djokovic would out-hit Nadal in total winners 26 to 17.
This week at Rome, Italy, at the Italian Open, Djokovic could overtake Nadal atop the ATP Tour rankings should the Serbian win the Rome title with Nadal losing before the semifinals.