Cam Norrie infuriates Novak Djokovic as Brit tennis star DRILLS a ball at the world No 2 while his back is turned… before going on to lose at Italian Open
- Cameron Norrie channeled his inner Ivan Lendl when he drilled Novak Djokovic
- Brit smashed a ball into his leg while the Serb’s backed was turned on Tuesday
- World No 2 Djokovic went on to win the Italian Open fourth-round match 6-3 6-4
A furious Novak Djokovic accused Cam Norrie of going against the spirit of fair play after the British No 1 had drilled him at the net during a testy Italian Open fourth-round encounter.
The Wimbledon champion was upset that Norrie hit him above the ankle with a smash as the Serb was a sitting duck, having been left stranded when a ball ballooned up invitingly during a rally early in the second set.
After a series of death stares and frosty handshake at the net, which followed a 6-3, 6-4 victory for the favourite, Djokovic complained that his opponent had been pushing the boundaries of the rules all match.
Norrie, who was unavailable for comment immediately afterwards, rarely gets involved in such controversies but it was notable that he was kept waiting at the start of the match – the first on the schedule – while his opponent had some extra treatment.
Djokovic was left both unimpressed and surprised by the feisty nature of the contest, in which Norrie called the trainer on before he was due to try to serve out the match.
Cameron Norrie (left) channelled Ivan Lendl when he drilled Novak Djokovic (right) on Tuesday
The Brit smashed the ball into the left leg of World No 2 Djokovic, whose back was turned
Serb Djokovic then furiously turned around to give British No 1 Norrie a death stare (pictured), before going on to win 6-3 6-4 in their Italian Open fourth-round match
‘I don’t know if he saw me. Peripherally you can always see where a player is on the court. I just turned around because the point was over for me,’ he said about the tagging incident.
‘It was not so much about that, as maybe a combination of things. From the very beginning he was doing all the things that are allowed.
‘He’s allowed to take a medical timeout, he’s allowed to hit a player, he’s allowed to say “C’mon” in your face more or less on every single point from basically the first game.
‘Those are the things the players know in the locker room, it’s not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other.
‘I got along with Cameron very well all these years that he’s been on the tour. He’s a very nice guy off the court so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court.
‘He brought the fire and I responded to that. I’m not going to allow a guy to behave like that and bend my head.’
Some might find it a bit rich for Djokovic to lecture, especially when it comes to the suggestion of hamming up injuries.
It is also highly questionable why he was able to arrive late to the court for a scheduled match, with a 10-minute delay at the start because he said he was getting extra treatment after finishing his warm-up late.
Djokovic approached the net and was riled after only getting the most perfunctory apology
In a more disciplined sport with stronger officials, like golf for example, it would mean disqualification, but top players in tennis are far too often a law unto themselves.
Djokovic played a smart tactical match, and is now into the quarter-finals in Rome for the 17th time, where he will face the exciting Dane Holger Rune. Norrie picked up two decent wins this week and is top seed in Lyon, where he is the defending champion, prior to the French Open.
The management of Nick Kyrgios have suggested that he will not be making his comeback as planned at Roland Garros as his recovery from knee surgery is taking longer than expected. He still hopes to play on the grass.
Britain’s leading young men’s player Jack Draper is reportedly optimistic that he will return to action in Lyon before heading to Paris.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk