'Not Fair Play': Djokovic Hits Out At Norrie After Heated Rome Clash

'Not Fair Play': Djokovic Hits Out At Norrie After Heated Rome Clash

by Zachary Wimer

Novak Djokovic talked about Cameron Norrie after their spicy match at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome.

The 35-year-old used his experience to beat Norrie, but the match was really intense. In one of the rallies, the Brit smashed the ball right at Djokovic, when the Serb already turned his back to him, giving up on a point.

Norrie immediately apologized, but the damage has been done and Djokovic's look only confirmed it. Naturally, the 22-time Grand Slam champion was asked about what happened after the match, and he shared his thoughts after watching the replay.

"I did watch the replay when he hit me. Yeah, maybe you could say he didn't hit me deliberately. I don't know if he saw me. I mean, peripheralically [sic] 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."

But according to Djokovic, it wasn't only about the smash that made the match more spicy than it maybe needed to be. The Brit repeatedly shouted 'come on' in his face and he even took a medical time out before the Serb was about to serve out the match. While none of these things are illegal or disallowed, Djokovic saw it as unsportsmanlike.

"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 C'mon in the face more or less every single point from basically first game."

While the 17-time Italian Open quarterfinalist knows that everything that his opponent did on the court is allowed, he says that players in the locker room know that they should not treat each other that way as he called his opponent's antics 'not fair play'.

"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..."

He also shared that he has a good relationship with Norrie, and that was also one of the reasons why his behavior caught him off guard.

"I got along with Cameron really well all these years that he's been on the tour. Practiced with each other. He's very nice guy off the court, so I don't understand this kind of attitude on the court, to be honest."

But the Serb was happy as he didn't let everything that was happening on the court get into his head and he responded with good tennis, securing his spot in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Moreover, he added that what happens on the court, stays on the court, hinting that he may discuss the matters with Norrie and continue their friendship.

"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."


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