Defending champion Novak Djokovic turned in his most dominating performance yet at this year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Tuesday, downing 13th-seeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round at Rome.
Following a first-round bye, Djokovic, the top seed, needed a first-set tiebreaker in Round 2 and three sets in Round 3 before dispensing with Norrie in 89 minutes.
Djokovic said of his tournament run, “So far so good. 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.”
Djokovic, a six-time champion at Rome, earned a quarterfinal matchup against seventh-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark. Rune edged Australia’s Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours.
Rune has a 1-1 career record vs. Djokovic, having won their last matchup in the final at the ATP Masters 1000 Paris last year.
In other Tuesday action, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece won a pair of matches to reach the quarterfinals.
First Tsitsipas completed a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, ending a match that was suspended on Monday following the first set due to rain. Then in a match that stretched until 1:43 a.m. local time, Tsitsipas got past Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 7-5, 7-5.
“It was a very full day, I’ll tell you that,” Tsitsipas said. “Spent the entire day at the courts. It had to be done, the rain got in the way, so I’m happy the day ends like this. I put a great effort out there today. Tonight actually, not today!
“It’s been wonderful, delightful in fact, to be playing this way and I need to catch some Z’s now, get ready. I think tomorrow’s a day off, so (I have) got to recharge and focus on the next one.”
Next up for Tsitsipas will be 15th-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia, who rallied past Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Two other players won the completion of suspended matches on Tuesday but then lost their subsequent match later in the day. Musetti finished off a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over 12th-seeded Frances Tiafoe of the United States before falling to Tsitsipas. Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the 19th seed, closed out a 6-4, 7-5 victory over the United States’ J.J. Wolf but then lost 6-2, 7-6 (3) to third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia.
In other fourth-round action, fourth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway routed Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-1, 6-3; German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann upset sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3; and 24th-seeded Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina came from behind to top eighth-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2.
–Field Level Media