In the third meeting between the pair, Norrie matched the 22-time Grand Slam champion for much of the match but eventually fell just short in a 6-3, 6-4 loss.
Things started frostily following a complaint by Norrie when Djokovic arrived 10 minutes late. It led to stern exchanges in the first set, and the animosity only grew when the Briton hit a smash into Djokovic’s left leg with his back turned in the second.
There was a worrying end to the match for Norrie a week and a half out from the French Open when he needed treatment on his right hip late in the second set.
The British No1’s aim to avoid a hat-trick of defeats diminished when he was broken in his opening service game of the match.
Djokovic immediately used the drop shot to good effect and dropped the pace of his groundstrokes, which gave Norrie little pace to work with and consistently let to unforced errors from his side of the court.
Having taken the first set in 40 minutes, the Serbian looked set to race away with the win as he broke early in the second set for a 2-1 lead only for Norrie to break back in the very next game, with his smash into Djokovic leg. It led to a glare back and another at the change of ends a game later.
In what proved a tight second set, Norrie found himself broken again in game nine after which Djokovic served out the match after his opponent’s medical timeout.