People all across the world were audience to the “unreal” epic duel between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer that was 2019’s longest ever Wimbledon Final. The fantastic Wimbledon finale which was an exhausting five-hour marathon not just displayed his racket skills, backhand or forehand, but demonstrated his incredible physical and mental endurance.
However, it was not smooth sailing or a cakewalk for Nole. For years he has had health struggles and could barely finish a complete game, leave alone a complete tournament. Stomach spasms and chest pain plagued the current world no.1 and he was not able to overcome his breathing difficulties. Novak was fatigued all the time and feared his career was meeting its end before it even started.
What Novak does to remain fit
He was so depressed with his health struggles that he even said: “Every time I took a big step towards my dream I felt as though a rope were around my torso pulling me back,” Novak explained: “Physically I couldn’t compete. Mentally I didn’t feel I belonged on the same court as the best players in the game. There was something about me that was broken, unhealthy, unfit. Some called it allergies, some called it asthma, some just called it being out of shape but no matter what we called it no one knew how to fix it.”
In his book Novak has said that: “I changed trainers, I changed coaches, I had nasal surgery in the hope it would allow me to breathe more freely. In fact, “I even moved my training camp to Abu Dhabi hoping that by practising in the heat I’d be better prepared.”
However, nothing worked until, in 2010, Dr. Igor Cetojevic a nutritionist, witnessed his collapse during the Australian Open game and run a crude test as well as blood analysis on him.
The reports pointed out that Serb was intolerant to gluten and the diagnosis involved overhauling his diet. Novak cut gluten out, dairy products and tomatoes and the star’s career took one of the most dramatic upturns.
According to Dr. Cetojevic, his career skyrocketed from the moment he made these changes. He has said: “Novak is a born talent and possesses a hunger for success, willingness to make quality changes, change bad habits (say diet) and work and just work, to be better and more successful than yesterday.”
With his intense dedication, he completely quit sugar and now mainly eats veggies. Novak’s ideal diet comprises of healthy oils, seeds, fruits, chickpeas, and lentils.
In his book Serve to Win, world no.1, has even explained that: “I had to learn to listen to my body. Once, I did everything changed. You could call it magic. It felt like magic.”