WATCH: Novak Djokovic furious after Cameron Norrie smashes ball into him

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic in action
Novak Djokovic arguing

Novak Djokovic delivered the death stare to Cameron Norrie after the British No 1 accidentally smashed a ball into him at the Italian Open.

Defending champion Djokovic and Norrie squared off in the fourth-round of the ATP Masters 1000 event on Centre Court at Foro Italico on Tuesday and it all went pretty well in the first set before things kicked off early in the second set.

After a couple of exchanges that involved a drop shot and a volley, Norrie played an excellent lob and 22-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic had given up on the point as he simply stuck out a racket. He somehow managed to get the ball back over the net, but turned his back on his opponent and started walking back to the baseline.

Norrie then proceeded to smash the ball, but unfortunately he hit it straight into his Djokovic’s ankles and it did not go down well with the defending champion.

World No 1 Djokovic turned around and his look said it all as he gave his rival the death stare. Norrie, who firmly kept his eye on the ball while playing the smash, immediately apologised.

The commentator though it was unfortunate and not deliberate and the co-commentator added: “He did apologise. I don’t even think he saw Djokovic turn his back.” The reply was: “Djokovic really was not happy was he there. A big stare back at Norrie.”

However, Djokovic had every reason to be happy by the end of the match as he won 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes to secure his place in the quarter-final.

The six-time Italian Open winner broke in game two of the opening set and then wrapped up the set on his fourth set point in game nine. He then broke in game two of the second set before Norrie hit back in game three – which incidentally was where the controversial smash took place – only for the world No 1 to break to love in game nine.

Norrie also took a medical timeout while Djokovic served for the match, but the world No 1 was not to be denied.

The handshake between the pair at the end of the match was not the warmest and there were no further apologies or mention of THAT moment.

“So far so good,” Djokovic said after the match. “It was an early start today. Strange conditions and we warmed up for just 20 minutes. I was rushing a little bit and we couldn’t play before because of the rain, so I am glad to overcome the challenge in straight sets and move on.”

Djokovic will face either Holger Rune or Alexei Popyrin in the quarter-final.

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