Italian Open 2023: Novak Djokovic ousts Cameron Norrie, Jannik Sinner shocked by Francisco Cerundolo

Djokovic is attempting to win his seventh title in Rome, having previously won the event in 2008, 2011, 2014-15, 2020, and 2022.

Novak Djokovic in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | May 17, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Novak Djokovic won the Italian Open 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday, continuing his quest for his record-extending 39th ATP Masters 1000 title. With his deep aggressive hitting on the Italian clay, the Serbian suffocated Norrie. He also moved well, sliding freely into shots to turn the Briton around and reach the Rome quarter-finals for the 17th year in a row. Djokovic is attempting to win his seventh title in Rome, having previously won the event in 2008, 2011, 2014-15, 2020, and 2022. After his 89-minute victory, the 35-year-old will face Dane Holger Rune.

“So far so good,” Djokovic said when asked about his tournament so far. “It was an early start today. Strange conditions and we warmed up for just 20 minutes. I was rushing a little bit and we couldn’t play before because of the rain, so I am glad to overcome the challenge in straight sets and move on.”

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Norrie was aiming to reach the ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals for the second time this season, after reaching that stage in Indian Wells. Before losing to Djokovic for the third time, the 13th seed defeated Alexandre Muller and Marton Fucsovics.

The top seed is hoping to find his best level on clay this fortnight at the Foro Italico, after suffering early defeats on the surface in Monte-Carlo and Banja Luka. Djokovic is currently third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and could move up to first if he wins the title after Carlos Alcaraz is eliminated in the third round.

Francisco Cerundolo shocks Jannik Sinner

Francisco Cerundolo won his third straight match from a set down in Rome on Tuesday, defeating home favourite Jannik Sinner 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2. Throughout the two-hour, 25-minute match, the Argentine swung freely, taking the ball on the rise and pulling Sinner into the corners. Cerundolo hit with ferocity in the second and third sets to advance to his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. Cerundolo has now defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in Miami and Casper Ruud in Barcelona in his last three matches against Top 10 opponents. Ruud, ranked fourth in the world, will have a chance for vengeance when he faces Cerundolo in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Cerundolo advanced earlier this month after recovering from a first-set loss to Yibing Wu and Gregoire Barrere. Following his 17th win of the season, the Argentine moves up three spots to No. 28 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

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