Cameron Norrie in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne
Cameron Norrie in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tennis | Rome 2023 | Norrie extends winning streak over Fucsovics, sets Djokovic last 16 showdown

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Cameron Norrie [13] def Marton Fucsovics 6-2 7-6(4)
  • Norrie v Novak Djokovic [1] | H2H: Djokovic leads 2-0
ROME, ITALY – Cameron Norrie extended his winning streak over Marton Fucsovics to reach the last 16 in Rome where he will face top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.


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Cameron Norrie [13] def Marton Fucsovics 6-2 7-6(4)

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Cameron Norrie is into the fourth round of Rome after extending his winning streak over Marton Fucsovics to five consecutive wins. The Brit secured victory in straight sets in a routine two hour victory with the first set showing why Norrie has dominated their previous head-to head meeting. After a comfortable opening few games for both players it was Norrie who struck the early blow as he showed his returning quality and baseline patience with Fucsovics hitting erratic errors.

After failing to take his first three break points, Norrie pounced on his four opportunities as he broke in the fourth game and then held to take a 4-1 lead. The powerful Hungarian didn’t give up though despite Norrie producing some aggressive patterns of play as Fucsovics threatened to break back in the seventh game.

However no break points were created after three deuces and Norrie held for a 5-2 lead. That would prove to be critical for the Brit as he made some stunning returns in the next game and converted his first set point to break for a second time, sealing the opening set.

The second started with Norrie having to dig deep and survive a tough third game with Norrie showing his resilience to take a 2-1 lead. That was followed by a ruthless returning display from the world number three as he broke in two consecutive return games to take a 5-1 lead as he was seemingly cruising to the fourth round.

It was a clinical start to the set for Norrie but the 13th seed was anything but clinical towards the end of the set in heavy conditions in Rome. Five match points came and went as Norrie couldn’t get over the finishing line and was punished for not taking his chances. Fucsovics refused to give up and was rewarded with three consecutive games, breaking twice, as he levelled the set at 5-5.

In the end, Fucsovics’ comeback was only delaying the inevitable as he controlled the tiebreak and converted his seventh match points to reach the last 16 in Rome.


Cameron Norrie [13] v Novak Djokovic [1]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

Cameron Norrie [13] v Novak Djokovic [1] H2H: Djokovic leads 2-0
Rome 2023 Rome, Italy
Clay (O) Prize Money: €84,900
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Norrie will now face a returning Novak Djokovic for a place in the quarter-finals with the top seed aiming to defend his title in the Italian capital.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Cameron Norrie (WR 13) Novak Djokovic (WR 1)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2019, 2021, 2022) Champion (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2020, 2022)
1st Serve % 65 64.9
Service Games Won % 80.8 88.2
Break Points Saved % 58.9 64.5
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53.1 54
Break Points Converted % 39.8 39.3

Norrie will need to be at his best on return with Djokovic being dominant on serve so far this season.



Playing Styles and Prediction

Djokovic’s clay court season hasn’t exactly gone to plan having had to deal with shock exits in Monte-Carlo and Banja Luka. Furthermore injury has halted his plans as well but if there is one man who knows how to deal with adversity it’s Djokovic. Now having won two matches in Rome, the Serb is looking to build momentum as he looks to successfully defend his Rome title ahead of Roland Garros.

Norrie will need to return well give Djokovic’s serving statistics but will also need to perform well on break points as the Serb is one of the most clutch players on the tour. The Serb will look to maintain a consistent level throughout the match as that is what he has struggled to do in his opening two matches in Rome. The expectation is the defending champion will advance but if Norrie can play to a consistent level then there is no reason to see why the Brit can’t be the latest player to upset Djokovic on clay.

Prediction: Djokovic in three sets.



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