In sixteen appearances, Novak Djokovic had never missed a quarter-final in Rome. An impressive consistency that he still maintained on Tuesday after his easy victory (6-3, 6-4) against a Cameron Norrie reduced at the end of the match by an injury.
The Masters 1000 in Rome is not for nothing the tournament which sees Novak Djokovic reach his best level there each season and thus build up his confidence just before heading for Roland-Garros. The Serb loves this tournament. And although he has complained a lot about the quality of the court since he made his debut in the Italian capital last week, he continues to shine there. Six times winner of the event, defending champion after once again succeeding in the perfect tournament last season, the “Djoker” is not far from nearing perfection as soon as he sets foot in the Foro Italico. As at home in Rome, the current world number 1 who already knows that he will no longer be so after the tournament, whether he wins again or not (one game disputed was enough for Carlos Alcaraz to be sure to resume the orders next Monday), has shown incredible consistency since discovering Roman clay.
17th quarter-final in… 17 appearances
In sixteen participations, the “GOAT” had thus reached the quarter-finals on… sixteen times. To which should be added one more, since as a faithful regular at the meeting that he is (he has never lost in the final), the man with 22 Grand Slam titles has again in the quarters – his 17th in as many appearances in Rome and his 91st in Masters 1000 – this Tuesday after dominating (6-3, 6-4) Cameron Norrie even more easily than he had cut his teeth in the 1st round over the young Argentinian Etcheverry and, above all, that he had defeated (in three sets) the experienced Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round on Sunday.
Djokovic’s dark gaze
Oh the dark look of Djokovic! 😬
The tension went up a notch when Cameron Norrie hit Djokovic in the ankles with a powerful smash! The Serb didn’t like it at all… #HomeOfTennis #IBI23 pic.twitter.com/buK7hf9Fm1
— Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) May 16, 2023
Admittedly, the world number 13, who played his 77th match in the tournament there – for 67 victories (Editor’s note: He thus equaled the record of Rafael Nadal, whom he will beat in the next round, against Holger Rune or Alexei Popyrin) has finished the match weakened by an injury – he was also handled for a long time on the court – but that does not detract from the domination of the Serb, never worried in the first set in particular, with an entry break, and whose victory does not suffer from any dispute, as the gap between the two men seemed abysmal in this part. A match also marked by a small incident, at 2-1, when Norrie “lit” the world number 1, then back to the net. A gesture that didn’t appeal to the native of Belgrade at all, who let the Briton know by giving him a very dark look and then paying him very little attention later during a very cold handshake. .