#Djokovic accuses Norrie of ‘gamesmanship’ after being struck with smash; watch video  #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

#Djokovic accuses Norrie of ‘gamesmanship’ after being struck with smash; watch video #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

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Novak Djokovic hit out at Cameron Norrie after being struck on the leg with a smash by the Briton during their last-16 match at the Italian Open in Rome on Tuesday.

Djokovic moved into the Italian Open quarter-finals for a staggering 17th year in a row with a 6-3, 6-4 win against the British No 1. Djokovic is gunning for his seventh title in Rome.

The point of note came in the second with Norrie down a set and a break.

Djokovic had meekly picked up a Norrie low ball and had turned around in the face of a simple smash for Norrie. With the court gaping, Norrie instead struck the Serbian player in the calf.

The World No 1 didn’t look pleased and responded with a lengthy glare in Norrie’s direction even as the British player apologised by putting his hand up.

In the press conference after the match, 35-year-old Djokovic accused Norrie of using tactics that he felt were legal but not fair play.

“I did watch the replay when he hit me,” he told reporters. “Maybe you could say he didn’t hit me deliberately. I don’t know if he saw me.

“Peripherally you can always see where the player is positioned on the court. The ball was super slow and super close to the net. I just turned around because the point was over for me.

“It was not so much maybe about that, it was maybe about that, but it was maybe a combination of things. From the very beginning he was doing all the things that were allowed.

“He’s allowed to take a medical timeout. He’s allowed to hit a player. He’s allowed to say ‘come on’ in the face more or less every single point from basically the first game.

“Those are the things that we players know in the locker room it’s not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other. But, again it’s allowed so…”

He added: “I get along with Cameron really well all these years that he’s been on the tour. Practiced with each other. He’s a very nice guy off the court, so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court, to be honest.

“But it is what it is. He brought the fire, and I responded to that. I’m not going to allow someone behaving like this just bending my head. I’m going to respond to that.

“That’s all it is. What happens on the court, we leave it on the court, and we move on.”

Djokovic will play World No 7 Holger Rune in the next round of the Italian Open as he works towards being in good physical condition for the French Open. The clay court major begins on 28 May.

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