Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat 13th seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-3 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals of the Italian Open on Tuesday. The match was over within an hour and a half, as the 35-year-old Serb had little difficulty in winning. With Carlos Alcaraz out of the fray, Djokovic remains the favorite to win his seventh title in Rome.
Norrie was too soft with his forehand and inconsistent with his backhand in the first set:
As expected, the two players engaged in a lot of crosscourt exchanges, with Norrie’s crosscourt forehand frequently aimed at Djokovic’s backhand. However, Norrie hit his forehand with more top spin in the first set, perhaps to not allow the Serb to redirect with his down-the-line backhand. Djokovic’s down-the-line backhand still turned out to be an efffective shot whenever the Serb had the chance to play it.
Moreover, Norrie’s inconsistent backhand allowed Djokovic to have the upper hand in a rally almost every time he managed to direct the traffic towards it. Norrie committed a lot of unforced errors off his backhand to make Djokovic’s job easier. The Serb raced to a 3-0 lead early on in the first set and then had a couple of set points in the eighth game. However, Norrie saved them and managed to hold to reduce the deficit to 3-5. Still, he could not stop the Serb from serving out the first set in the subsequent game.
Novak Djokovic also proved to be superior in the net:
Djokovic also unleashed his drop shots quite often, thereby dragging the Brit to the net. Norrie managed to chase the ball down most of the times, but often hit his subsequent shot wide of the tramline. Djokovic’s also hit quite a few winners off his forehand, which has proved to be a very effective shot in the tournament so far.
The Serb once again got the decisive break in the second set and won the match with relative ease. Djokovic won 83% and 64% of the points on his first and second serves, respectively, while Norrie only managed 61% and 41%, respectively, which proved to be a significant difference.
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