Things got extremely fiesty between Novak Djokovic and Cam Norrie during their round of 16 affair at the Italian Open on Tuesday.
Djokovic earned a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the British No. 1 to advance to the quarterfinals, but had to deal with antics from Norrie such as repeatedly shouting “C'mon” during the match.
However, it was during a rally in the second set where Djokovic gave up on a play as he thought it was going out and once he turned around, Norrie proceeded to strike him on the ankle unintentionally.
Norrie apologized right away, but that didn't stop him from receiving a death stare from Djokovic.
What happened there? 😳#IBI23 pic.twitter.com/anA3ZvqVjj
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 16, 2023
If that wasn't enough, Norrie took a medical timeout just as Djokovic was serving for the match.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner eventually came out the winner and although he shook hands with Norrie, it was a cold handshake to say the least.
Speaking after the match, Djokovic acknowledged Norrie didn't deliberately hit him, but did admit to getting annoyed by a combination of things.
“It was not so much maybe about that, but it was maybe a combination of things,” Djokovic said (via Tennis365). “From the 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 the first game. Those are the things that we [as] players know in the locker room know is not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other. But again, it’s allowed, so…
“I get along with Cameron really well all these years that he’s been on Tour. Practiced with each other. He’s very nice off the court, so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court, to be honest. 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 is all. What happens on the court we leave on the court, and we move on.”
Novak Djokovic plays Holger Rune in the quarterfinal on Wednesday as he will look to go one step closer to defending his Italian Open title.