WATCH: Drama in Rome As Djokovic Turns His Back To Norrie & Gets Hit By Smash

WATCH: Drama in Rome As Djokovic Turns His Back To Norrie & Gets Hit By Smash

by Sebastian Dahlman

A moment of drama unfolded as Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie fought for a quarterfinal spot at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome.

The usually cool and composed Djokovic, who recently recorded his 1050th win on the ATP Tour, found himself in an unusual situation during a fourth-round match at Foro Italico. The Serb won the first set but the second set included a moment that he didn't expect to happen during the match.

One of the rallies began routinely enough - a rally, a drop shot, a lob - a scenario played out thousands of times on the tennis court. Yet, this time it was different. Norrie's lob was executed so deftly that Djokovic, despite his exceptional agility and court awareness, couldn't react swiftly.

Seemingly resigning to the inevitable, the Serbian stalwart turned his back, anticipating the incoming smash from Norrie. Such a move is not unheard of in the realm of tennis. It's a tacit surrender, an acknowledgment of the opponent's superior shot.

However, what unfolded next was something unexpected. Norrie, perhaps oblivious to Djokovic's turned back, struck a resounding overhead, hitting Djokovic directly. The audience gasped. A moment of silence filled the stadium before being replaced by a collective murmur.

Norrie's immediately apologized, but the tensions arose quickly. The piercing look on Djokovic's face told a different story. It was a silent, thousand-word tale of surprise, indignation, and perhaps a tinge of pain.

In professional tennis, a player hitting another is relatively rare, and unintentional when it happens. The sport is marked by mutual respect and fair play, a philosophy deeply ingrained in its culture. In this context, the incident was jarring, a point of high drama in an otherwise routine match.

Post the incident, the match continued with the customary intensity, the incident adding another layer of tension to the already high-stakes encounter. Djokovic didn't seem to be influenced by being hit and continued to deliver a solid performance.


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