Frosty Handshake Drama Touches Italian Open 2023 as Novak Djokovic Unleashes Fury on British Tennis Star Cameron Norrie After a Nasty Hit at the Net

Published 05/16/2023, 8:05 AM EDT

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With every passing day, it looks more and more likely for World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to retain his Italian Open title. In his latest encounter against Briton Cameron Norrie, Djokovic won in straight sets and made his way into the quarterfinals. However, Djokovic’s match against Norrie wasn’t without incident. While the result may indicate a straightforward win, there were a couple of moments that showed Djokovic’s vulnerability.

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One of those moments came just as the match was about to start. However, it was the one during the second set that raised quite a few eyebrows and brought out Djokovic’s passive-aggressive side.

What ruffled the feathers of Novak Djokovic?

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Since the 2023 Italian Open got underway for Novak Djokovic, he has been registering win after win. Unsurprisingly, he won against Cameron Norrie as well, but the tension was palpable in the second set after Norrie won a point against the Serb.

Here’s what happened. At a particular point during the second set, an absolute sitter of a put-away came Norrie’s way. It was such a sitter that Djokovic turned his back on Norrie and walked away, knowing that the Briton would win the point.

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However, after the Briton smashed the ball right into the back of his knee, Djokovic’s fury came to the fore. As soon as the ball hit Djokovic, he turned around and gave a stern look in Norrie’s direction. The Briton immediately put his hand up and apologized to the seething Serb.

You would think that Djokovic would have forgiven Norrie for the incident. However, that’s not what happened. Even after the match had ended, Djokovic seemed furious at Norrie, and he refused to look the Briton in the eye when the duo shook hands. Djokovic had an injury scare ahead of the match, which is probably why he was in such a foul mood, to begin with. The Serb reportedly injured his shoulder muscle just as he was about to conclude his warm-up. As a result, the match was delayed until Djokovic was given the all-clear by his medical team.

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Djokovic is also unhappy with the Italian Open courts

Another reason that may have played a part in Djokovic’s passive-aggressive behavior towards Norrie is his dissatisfaction with the court conditions in Rome. Despite winning every match he has played in this year’s tournament so far, he carries an undercurrent of frustration.

via Reuters

The frustration boiled over into the court during his round of 32 match against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Even though Djokovic ultimately won the match, he let rip at the organizers of the tournament for the poor condition of the courts.

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Written by:

Sudipto Pati

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Sudipto is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. His passion for writing became a full-time profession in 2019 after working as a musician and travelling educator.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M

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