Novak Djokovic criticised Cameron Norrie’s behaviour after the Briton hit him with a smash while his back was turned in their Italian Open match.
Djokovic reached his 17th successive Rome quarter-final with a 6-3 6-4 win in a tetchy encounter on Tuesday.
He had already been irritated by the British number one’s shouts of “Come on”, before being hit in the ankle when he had already given up the point.
“Those are the things we players know are not fair play,” Djokovic said.
“It’s not how we treat each other, but it is allowed.”
Having delayed the start of the match for a few minutes while he was in the treatment room, Djokovic wasted no time in racing into a 3-0 lead before Norrie slowed down his opponent’s charge with a couple of holds.
The 27-year-old Briton saved three set points but could do nothing about the fourth as Djokovic wrapped up the opener.
Norrie, seeded 13th, went a break down early in the second and immediately broke back – but in controversial fashion.
Djokovic had already surrendered the point when he hit high to leave Norrie with an open court to put the ball into and was walking away when Norrie fired his smash into Djokovic’s left ankle.
Norrie uttered a brief “sorry” and raised his hand in apology, earning whistles from the crowd and a huge glare from a clearly riled Djokovic.
With conditions cool and the mood on court even frostier, Djokovic went on to break to love for 5-4.
Having been made to wait at the start of the match, it was then Norrie’s turn to keep Djokovic waiting as he received treatment on court on his hip while the Serb prepared to serve for the match.
Djokovic went 0-30 down but resumed his focus as he sealed victory on his second match point to stay on course for a seventh Italian Open title, with the pair exchanging a tense handshake and no words at the net.
“I have got along very well with Cameron over the years that he’s been on tour. He’s a very nice guy off the court so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court,” said Djokovic, who faces Danish seventh seed Holger Rune in the last eight.
“He brought the fire and I responded to that. I’m not going to allow someone behaving like this bending my head.
“That’s all it is. What happens on the court, we leave on the court and move on.”
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in a match postponed due to rain on Monday before overcoming another Italian Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 7-5 to secure his…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at BBC Sport – Tennis…