2023 Italian Open: Novak Djokovic defeats Cameron Norrie to reach quarterfinals

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After Cameron Norrie smacked him in the back during their Italian Open encounter, Novak Djokovic blasted the Brit for his actions. With a tense 6-3 6-4 victory on Tuesday, Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Rome tournament for the 17th time in a row.

The British No.1’s yells of “Come on” had already annoyed Djokovic before he was struck in the ankle after he’d given up. Djokovic stated, “Those are the things we players know are NOT fair play, and although it’s not how we treat one another, it is allowed.”

After Djokovic’s brief absence from the starting line to attend to his ankle, Norrie quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead before slowing down his opponent’s momentum with a few holds.

The 27-year-old Briton turned back three set chances but was helpless to stop Djokovic from winning the first set. Early in the second set, Norrie, the 13th seed, fell behind by a break before breaking back, although in an unusual way.

When Djokovic shot high and Norrie had an open court to send the ball into, Djokovic already gave up the point and was leaving when Norrie launched his smash into Djokovic’s left ankle.

“Throughout the years that Cameron has been on tour, we have gotten along great. I don’t get this sort of mentality on the court since he’s a kind guy off the court,” said Djokovic, who will play Holger Rune of Denmark, the seventh seed, in the round of eight.

“He started the fire, and I put it out. I won’t stand for someone acting in this manner. That is all there is. We forget what happens on the court and carry on.”

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