Novak Djokovic knocked Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie out of the Italian Open at the last-16 stage, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Djokovic will face the winner of Australia’s Alexei Popyrin versus Denmark’s Holger Rune in the quarter-finals in Rome.
The world No 1 was very solid for Norrie in a victory that maintained his unbeaten record before the quarter-finals in Rome.
The main talking point came in the fourth game of the second set as Norrie looked to get an early break.
Djokovic turned the game around after presenting his opponent with an easy smash, only for Norrie, seemingly unintentionally, to drill the ball into the Serbian’s legs.
Djokovic gave the British No 1 a very cold look and had an edge in the contest afterwards, but Norrie never threatened to land more than a glancing punch.
The 27-year-old, who has lost his previous encounters with Djokovic, held serve at the start of the contest and was kept at arm’s length for the rest of the opening set, with the six-time champion putting up a tactical masterclass .
Norrie withstood the pressure after the smash incident to hold his serve until 4-4, when Djokovic made the decisive move to reach the last eight.
“It was an early start today, amazing conditions,” Djokovic said Amazon Prime Video.
“I finished my warm-up 10 minutes before I went to the court so I rushed everything. I’m just happy to overcome today’s challenge in straight sets and move on.”
The 35-year-old serviceman was noticed to be slower than usual but he doubted why he made an early morning visit to the treatment room.
“Every day is something,” he said. “Thankfully I was able to play and finish the game so hopefully I will feel better tomorrow.”