The video above took place this weekend at the Paris Masters, a huge tournament towards the end of the tennis season as players make their final push for the ATP Finals. In the semifinals on Saturday between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas, Novak's team was seen making a secret drink in the stands. 9 million views later and people are wondering what the hell they're watching happen.
My first thought is there's no way he's actually doping in front of the whole public crowd like this. You can't be that stupid, especially after a top women's player in Simona Halep was recently just suspended for doping. Djokovic has all the eyes on him at all times, there's just no way they'd cheat this blatantly, and this is coming from an anti-Djokovic guy.
The other thought in my head is asking why in the world his team is acting like they're mixing a magic potion that could give Djokovic the Popeye Spinach powers? One of the sport's top beat reporters was interested himself.
Listen, Novak is a weird cat no two ways about it. He doesn't drink cold water. He doesn't believe in surgery. And he follows an extremely strict diet that basically only he can withstand. One that he refuses to break which started years ago after a doctor was randomly watching him on TV and noticed him physically struggling at the 2010 Aussie Open. This was the famous bread test he put Novak through to determine he needed to cut out wheat and dairy products as well as tomatoes. Read this shit, it's hilarious.
(The Independent) Cetojevic told Djokovic to stretch out his right arm while placing his left hand on his stomach. The doctor then pushed down on Djokovic’s right arm and told him to resist the pressure. The strength Djokovic would feel in holding firm, the doctor said, was exactly what he should experience.
Next Cetojevic gave Djokovic a slice of bread. He told the bemused player not to eat it but to hold it against his stomach with his left hand while he again pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s astonishment, the arm felt appreciably weaker.
It was what Cetojevic had expected. His crude test had been to discover whether Djokovic was sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other bread grains. Looking back, it was the moment when Djokovic discovered why he had suffered so many mid-match collapses in his career – and the starting point for a lifestyle change which led to his becoming world No 1 just 12 months later.
Now he's basically on his own TB12 method that's saw him become one of the best tennis players of all time. My point? Unless, this is all a facade, Novak is basically the last guy in the world to put steroids in his body. Guy sees a needle and runs for the hills. I hate him so much for the amount of times he's beaten my sweet Roger, but this guy isn't doping. If he is then I'll be happy to say I'm wrong as we strip him of every title he's ever won, but I'd be beyond stunned. Almost every top tennis player has their own special drink they take in during a match. You don't get to this level just drinking Gatorade. They've all got their own scientific mixtures that involve all sorts of electrolytes and nutrients.
I will say though, his guys turning their backs to the camera to shield what they're doing is bizarre. Maybe they're just secretive of their methods and don't want any opponents getting any idea of what they're up to? Orrrr they've got some cutting edge steroid in there that isn't banned yet and they're doing this shit in plain sight. Pretty odd to be doing this in a 3 set match as well. A long 5 setter during a slam, yeah sure that makes sense as you run out of stuff, but why didn't he have this to begin with? Either way Novak should probably tell his team to act a little more normal moving forward and not like they're running their own BALCO lab in the 2nd row.
Magic potion drink, or not, it wasn't enough to overcome the young monster in Holger Rune yesterday. This dude just beat 5 straight top 10 opponents in a row in one tournament. That's never happened before. First Masters 1000 title and a top 10 ranking to go with it. Not too bad for a 19 year old.