Watch: Cameron Norrie crosses the line vs. Novak Djokovic. Serb responds

Cameron Norrie hit Novak Djokovic with a smash at the net in Rome

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Cameron Norrie crosses the line vs. Novak Djokovic. Serb responds

World no. 1 and the defending Rome Masters champion Novak Djokovic reached his 17th quarter-final at Foro Italico. Novak took down Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 30 minutes. The result was not that close, but the crowd at Foro Italico witnessed plenty of heat and drama between the two rivals.

Novak did not like how Cameron behaved, explaining everything during the press conference. Norrie hit Djokovic in his leg with a smash at the net on a break point in the second set's fourth game. Novak stood with his back turned toward the net, and Cameron shot him despite having a slow ball and a chance to place it anywhere else.

Djokovic turned and stared at his opponent for a couple of seconds, not liking that move at all. Also, world no. 1 mentioned Norrie's late medical timeout in the second set and his constant Cmo'n right from the start of the match.

We saw a cold handshake after the encounter, but Djokovic is ready to leave the incident behind and continue, focusing on his next duel. The Serb lost serve once and stole the rival's serve three times to control the scoreboard.

Novak grabbed an early break at the start of the clash and produced five comfortable holds to claim the opener in style. They traded breaks early in the second set, and Novak clinched another at 4-4 to propel himself into the last eight.

Novak tamed his strokes nicely and had the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced exchanges. He dominated with his forehand and produced 21 winners and 14 unforced errors.

Novak Djokovic did not like Cameron Norrie's acts during their duel.

Norrie stayed on a 19-29 ratio and lost the baseline exchanges against a better-ranked rival to end his run in the fourth round. Djokovic broke a left-handed in the encounter's second game following Norrie's wild forehand.

The Serb held at 15 in game three to cement the advantage and open a 3-0 gap. A six-time champion held at 5-3 to wrap up the opener after 40 minutes. Djokovic grabbed a break at 2-1 in the second set after Norrie's loose backhand and lost serve for the only time in the next one.

Cameron hit Novak with the ball at the net, and the Serb gave him one serious look. The Briton opened a 3-2 gap, and Novak held at 15 for 3-3. Cameron lost the ground and got broken at love in game nine following a loose backhand.

After the rival's medical timeout, Novak served for the victory at 5-4. Djokovic came from 30-0 down and missed his first match point. The Serb seized the second with a service winner to emerge at the top and reach the quarter-final.

Cameron Norrie Novak Djokovic