Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face 13th seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. Djokovic got the better of Grigor Dimitrov after a tough battle in the third round on Sunday.
The Serb, who turns 36 in a week, has won both his matches against Norrie to date, the last of them being the Wimbledon semifinal in 2022. However, the two have not yet faced each other on clay.
Novak Djokovic exploiting Norrie’s backhand:
Djokovic will keep in mind the fact that Norrie is not very comfortable playing his backhand. Moreover, the Brit southpaw’s crosscourt forehand will be directing the ball towards Djokovic’s backhand frequently. Hence, the opportunity will be there for Djokovic to play his down-the-line forehand for an outright winner.
The Serb has already played that shot to good effect in his two previous matches of the tournament. That might prove to be his key shot yet again in the match against Norrie.
Djokovic using the drop shot often enough:
The drop shot is a quite effective one to have on clay and Djokovic will be ready to use that extensively against Norrie. The Serb boasts better net-skills than the Brit and hence, will fancy his chances against the latter from the forecourt. Djokovic is almost a decade older than Norrie, yet can more than match the latter in terms of movement on the court.
Norrie also does not possess the requisite power in his serve or groundstrokes to blast the Serb off the court on the slow red dirt of Rome. Hence, in order to win, the 27-year-old Brit will have to wear Djokovic down, which is an arduous task on any surface.
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