Norrie falls to defeat against Djokovic in Italian Open last 16

The British number one was beaten in straight sets in Rome.

Cameron Norrie falls to defeat against Novak Djokovic in Italian Open last 16 SNS Group

Novak Djokovic has beaten Cameron Norrie in straight sets in the last 16 of the Italian Open.

Djokovic was 6-3 6-4 winner in a hard-fought match that saw tension between the pair after Norrie hit his opponent in the legs with an overhead in the second set.

After Djokovic had held in the opening game, he went a break up at the first time of asking, seizing on an error from Norrie to take an early advantage.

The Serb comfortably went to 3-0 up and had break point in the fourth game but Norrie recovered before going on to hold and get his first game on the board.

Djokovic kept pressing and, at 5-2, with Norrie serving to stay in the set, he had two set points but once again saw his opponent stubbornly claw things back to deuce and then hold.

The British number one doggedly fought to try and break back but Djokovic found his focus to see things out and take the first set.

The defending champion broke Norrie again in the third match of the second set but Norrie had an immediate chance to break back. He succeeded but only after a controversial flashpoint when Djokovic gave up a point at the end of a long rally, only for Norrie to smash an overhead shot that hit his opponent in the legs as he stood still in the middle of the court.

Djokovic made his unhappiness clear and wasn’t soothed by the briefest of apologies from the Scot.

The score went with serve to 4-4 but a double fault from Norrie in the ninth gave Djokovic break point and a wide shot from Norrie sealed the game and brought the inevitable conclusion closer.

After a short break for medical treatment for Norrie, Djokovic served out for the match and will go on to face seventh seed Holger Rune or qualifier Alexei Popyrin in the quarter-finals

Norrie will now head to Lyon to compete next week as preparations for the French Open continue.

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