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Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Italian Open, but his win over Cameron Norrie certainly didn’t lack drama.
After winning the first set 6-3, Djokovic and Norrie were in a tightly contested fourth game in the second set. After a lengthy rally, Djokovic was barely able to get his racket onto a ball near the net and popped it up into the air. Clearly thinking the point was over, The Joker turned his back, but Norrie didn’t seem to notice, or maybe he simply didn’t care.
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To secure the point, Norrie slammed his shot over the net directly into Djokovic’s ankle. The World No. 1 didn’t much appreciate the move and turned around to stare down the Brit.
In the video, you can see Norrie was looking up at the ball when Djokovic turned his back. There was clearly no ill intent in the moment, but in the heat of the match, the Serb couldn’t exactly see it that way.
Mark Petchey, who was commentating the match, seemed to think Norrie would regret the move of slamming the ball at Djokovic.
“Cam was looking at the ball but I know that as a tennis player you know where your opponent is in that moment,” Petchey said, according to The Sun.
“He will probably have a little bit of regret that he did it. But in the heat of the moment he wanted the point so badly that he lost his way a bit.
Norrie went on to apologize to Djokovic, but it seemed like it only fueled the Serbian as he punched his ticket into the next round.