Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022 and Cameron Norrie - Roland Garros 2023

Novak Djokovic fired back at by Cameron Norrie for ‘not fair play’ comment

Novak Djokovic has been fired back at by Cameron Norrie, after he criticised the British No.1 following their heated match at the Italian Open.

Djokovic beat Norrie two weeks ago in the fourth round of the Italian Open, and had a few words to say about the 27-year-old following a cold handshake after the match.

“From the very beginning, he was doing all the things that were allowed,” said Djokovic. “He’s allowed to take a medical timeout. He’s allowed to hit a player.”

“He’s allowed to say C’mon 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…”

Norrie has since responded to those accusations, while also making an accusation about the 22-time Grand Slam champion of his own.

“He wanted some more time on the physio bed and the match was scheduled for 11am,” claimed Norrie. “And we walked out maybe 11.12am, 11.13am. I don’t think he saw any problem with that. He never said anything to me. And he never apologised.”

Norrie continued, “I asked: ‘Was that OK to do that?’ They [the officials] said: ‘Yeah, it is within the rules.’ After 15 minutes, he gets defaulted. I said: ‘OK,’ and I continued warming up.”

“I’ve never seen that before from any player. Regardless if it’s a tennis match or not, you turn up on time for whatever it is.”

The No.13 then went onto respond to the suggestions that he was getting in the face of Djokovic, and also using a medical timeout for strategic reasons.

“I wanted to win, it was one of those matches where he’s one of the best players in the world and I wanted to play my best and compete as hard as I could,” explained Norrie.

“I didn’t think I was in his face at all. I think, if anyone knows me, I’m pretty vocal in some matches. It was a regular tennis match for me.”

Norrie added, “I was feeling my hip a little bit and I took the medical time-out. It is within the rules. And for him also it’s in the rules to start the match on his time – being late.”

There was also a situation where Norrie smashed the ball at Djokovic’s feet after he had turned away, to which the Brit revealed he had not seen the Serb.

“I apologised straight away and I didn’t see him. I looked up and hit the ball down low. I didn’t see him turn and concede the point,” claimed Norrie.

Both Norrie and Djokovic will continue their Roland Garros campaigns later today, with the pair only able to face other if they both reach the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic vs Cameron Norrie head-to-head

It is fair to say that there will be a few extra eyes when Djokovic and Norrie next play each other, however the Serb is likely to be the more confident of the two from their previous encounters:

Djokovic vs Norrie: 3-0

  1. Djokovic beat Norrie, 6-2 6-1 (ATP Finals Round-Robin 2021)
  2. Djokovic beat Norrie, 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 (Wimbledon Semi-Final 2022)
  3. Djokovic beat Norrie, 6-3 6-4 (Italian Open Fourth Round 2023)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.