The World No.1 Novak Djokovic wasn’t pleased with Cameron Norrie’s on-court behavior after his 6-3, 6-4 win in the round of 16 on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. In the fourth game of the second set, the Brit smashed the overhead volley, which hit Novak Djokovic on the leg when the Serbian had already turned back and given up on the point.
The veteran wasn’t pleased by Norrie’s antics and felt the Brit deliberately hit him and it wasn’t fair play from him. However, Djokovic revealed he wasn’t going to bend down and gave it back to Norrie in his own style.
“I did watch the replay when he hit me,” he said. “Yeah, maybe you could say he didn’t hit me deliberately. I don’t know if he saw me. I mean, peripherally you can always see where the player is positioned on the court. The ball was super slow and super close to the net. I just turned around because the point was over for me.
“It was not so much maybe about that, but it was maybe a combination of things. From the very beginning, I don’t know, he was doing all the things that were allowed.
“He’s allowed to take a medical timeout. He’s allowed to hit a player. He’s allowed to say ‘come on’ in the face more or less every single point from basically first game. Those are the things that we players know in the locker room it’s not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other. But, again, it’s allowed, so.”
The Serb added that he shares a good relationship off the court with Norrie but his on-court behavior on Tuesday was surprising for him. However, the World No.1 added what happens on the court, stays on the court and they move on.
“I got along with Cameron really well all these years that he’s been on the tour, [we] practiced with each other,” he added. “He’s very nice guy off the court, so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court, to be honest.
“But it is what it is. He brought the fire, and I responded to that. I’m not going to allow someone behaving like this just bending my head. I’m going to respond to that. That’s all it is.
“What happens on the court, we leave it on the court and we move on.”
Djokovic will take on Holger Rune in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.