Djokovic Beats Norrie Despite Being Hit To Reach Rome Quarterfinals

Djokovic Beats Norrie Despite Being Hit To Reach Rome Quarterfinals

by Sebastian Dahlman

Novak Djokovic defeated Cameron Norrie in the fourth round of the 2023 Italian Open in Rome to reach the quarterfinals.

The two met already twice in the past on the ATP Tour, and even though the experienced Serb triumphed in both matches, none of them were played on a red dirt. This time, Djokovic and Norrie clashed on clay courts of Foro Italico in Rome for their first clay-court meeting.

In their past two matches at the event, they both displayed solid form, with Djokovic beating Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Grigor Dimitrov, while Norrie overcame Alexandre Muller and Marton Fucsovics.

Their fourth-round meeting began a few minutes later than scheduled as the forecast in Rome seemed to be really tricky, leaving everyone doubting whether the players will step onto the court. Eventually, there was no rain and the match could be played without and disruptions.

And that's something that helped Djokovic keep his rhythm throughout the first set. The Serb was serving well and he had break points in three of his opponent's four service games. Although the 22-time Grand Slam champion used only one of the break points, it was enough for him to win the first set 6-3, also thanks to winning 92% of points after his first serve.

The second set got a bit more dramatic. Both players were able to break once early on, trading breaks and keeping the score level. But then a moment which overshadowed the match made the fans in Rome hold their breath for a second.

During one of the rallies, Norrie had an overhead to hit, and unintentionally, he hit it directly at his opponent. The Brit immediately apologized but it was obvious that Djokovic wasn't happy about it.

He used his frustration in a good way, showing his opponent that he is the better player and adding one more break to win the match 6-3, 6-4 and advance into the 2023 Italian Open quarterfinals.

Up next, the world no. 1 will be playing against the winner of the match between the seventh-seeded Holger Rune and qualifier Alexei Popyrin, a match played simultaneously.


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