Djokovic Criticizes Norrie's Attitude After Italian Open Drama

Novak Djokovic has voiced his disappointment with Cameron Norrie’s conduct during their clash at the Italian Open, accusing the British number one of lacking “fair play.”

Djokovic defeated Norrie 6-3 6-4 to secure a spot in the quarter-finals in Rome for the 17th consecutive year, but the match was marred by an incident in the fourth game of the second set.

While Djokovic was attempting to consolidate a break in the third game, both players approached the net. Norrie’s forehand hit the tape and bounced up awkwardly, allowing Djokovic to hit a high volley. However, Norrie capitalized on the situation, executing a simple overhead smash to break back. Novak turned his back and walked away, seemingly accepting that he had lost the point. As he retreated to the baseline, Norrie’s smash struck him on the ankle, prompting the Serb to direct an intense stare at his opponent, who immediately apologized.

Following Norrie’s successful break and subsequent hold for a 3-2 lead in the second set, the British player did not acknowledge Djokovic when they sat down, and Djokovic responded with another disapproving look. Norrie also took a medical timeout before Djokovic served out the match. At the end of the 90-minute contest, the two players exchanged a brief handshake at the net.

While the Serb acknowledged that Norrie may not have intentionally hit him with his smash, he raised concerns about the 27-year-old’s “attitude” regarding the medical timeout and other perceived gamesmanship tactics. Novak expressed his surprise at Norrie’s behavior on the court, highlighting that they had a good relationship off the court.

Djokovic will now face Danish player Holger Rune in the quarter-finals, aiming to extend his streak of reaching the last four at the Italian Open for the tenth consecutive time.

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