Novak Djokovic expressed his disapproval of Cameron Norrie’s conduct after an incident occurred during their match at the Italian Open. Djokovic secured his place in the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory, but the encounter was marked by a tense atmosphere.
Before the incident, Djokovic had been irritated by Norrie’s vocal encouragement, with shouts of “Come on” echoing from the British player’s side of the court. However, the situation escalated when Djokovic, having conceded the point, was struck on the ankle by Norrie’s smash. The incident took place as Djokovic was already walking away from the net.
Djokovic expressed his disappointment, stating that such actions were not in line with fair play and respectful treatment between players. He acknowledged that although it was allowed within the rules, it was not the conduct expected from fellow competitors.
Despite the disruption, Djokovic maintained his focus and clinched the first set after Norrie saved three set points. In the second set, Norrie faced an early break but managed to break back in a manner that stirred controversy. Djokovic had seemingly relinquished the point, only to be struck by Norrie’s shot. The British player promptly apologized, but Djokovic, visibly provoked, exchanged a tense glare with his opponent.
The match continued with a cool atmosphere, and Djokovic eventually broke Norrie’s serve to secure a 5-4 lead. As the match approached its conclusion, Norrie required on-court treatment for a hip issue, causing Djokovic to wait before serving for the victory. Despite briefly facing a 0-30 deficit, Djokovic refocused and sealed the win on his second match point.
Reflecting on the incident, Djokovic expressed confusion over Norrie’s on-court behavior, emphasizing their otherwise amicable relationship off the court. He vowed not to allow such conduct to affect him and maintained that what happens during matches should stay on the court.
Djokovic’s quarter-final opponent will be the Danish seventh seed, Holger Rune, as he pursues a seventh Italian Open title. The match concluded with a tense handshake between Djokovic and Norrie, devoid of any verbal exchange.