Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open after defeating Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday.
However, the match was not without controversy, as Norrie hit Djokovic with a smash, causing tension between the two players. Despite the incident, Djokovic went on to win the match and set up a clash with Holger Rune, who beat him in last year’s Paris Masters final.
Djokovic has a strong record in Rome, having reached the quarter-finals in each of his last 16 appearances. He is looking to win his seventh title on clay in the tournament, which serves as a warm-up for the French Open. With Carlos Alcaraz, who recently won two consecutive tournaments, eliminated from the competition, Djokovic’s chances of winning another title have improved.
In the post-match interview, Djokovic acknowledged Rune’s skills and recent form, noting that he expects a physical match. He also commented on Norrie’s behavior on the court, saying that he was irritated by his opponent’s conduct throughout the match. Djokovic was particularly unhappy with Norrie’s actions that he believed were not in line with fair play. Despite the tension, Djokovic emphasised that what happens on the court stays on the court and that he is moving on.
In other matches, Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev 6-2, 7-6(7/3), while Casper Ruud, Borna Coric, and Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced to the quarter-finals. Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner, however, were both eliminated from the tournament.
In the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek continued her impressive run, winning her 14th match in a row at the Italian Open. She defeated Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-4 and will face Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals. With seeds two to six all eliminated, Swiatek’s bid for a third title in as many years has been boosted.