Djokovic also clarified the meaning of ‘autophagy’, and said that it doesn’t mean starvation.
During the ongoing coronavirus-enforced break from tennis, Novak Djokovic has frequently spoken about his unique dietary practices and habits. And now, he has shared details of his eating schedule on days when he competes in big matches – including the historic Wimbledon 2019 final against Roger Federer.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion discussed concepts like intermittent fasting and healthy eating during his appearance on the “Wish & Go” podcast. Novak Djokovic specifically mentioned that many people misunderstand ‘autophagy’; according to the World No. 1, the word does not refer to starvation.
“It’s interesting,” Djokovic said. “I almost talked about autophagy. When people say autophagy, they mean starvation, that’s not the case. It’s like eating at a certain time, and when you’re not eating, you’re consuming fluids. Basically, I don’t eat much before matches.”
I was mostly on fluids and snacks before the Wimbledon 2019 final: Novak Djokovic
There have been rumors doing the rounds that Djokovic does not consume anything before big matches. But when asked whether he starved himself before his epic five-setter finale against Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019, Novak Djokovic busted the myth and said:
“I don’t take like some four eggs with bacon in the morning! Since the final was at 2 pm, I was mostly on fluids and snacks like I do before matches.”
The showdown between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer lasted for four hours and 57 minutes. It was the longest final in Wimbledon history, and the Serb’s superior fitness proved to be the key as he outlasted the Swiss legend 7–6, 1–6, 7–6, 4–6, 13–12.
Djokovic has frequently attributed his stamina and endurance to his dietary regimen, which consists of some unusual eating habits. The 2016 French Open winner further explained that with an example.
Novak Djokovic talks about stomach cramping in pressure situations
Novak Djokovic also revealed that he likes to have dates, bananas, water, and energy drinks during matches. However, he cautioned that what you eat is dependent on how comfortable you are feeling; Djokovic has experienced stomach cramping during pressure situations, which in turn has affected his food intake.
“During matches, I eat dates, sometimes bananas, drink water, and two different energy drinks, and that’s it. I believe in the psyche, the emotions. When you are in fear, your stomach cramps, and you cannot eat. Everything that happens at the moment when you play the finals, it is clear that your stomach is convulsing.”
Lastly, the Serb also mentioned the adrenaline rush that takes place during high stakes matches – with particular reference to the iconic 2012 Australian Open final.
“Plus, the adrenaline! Anything is possible, even if you play for six hours at the Australian Open and they don’t give us a chair, we barely got that chair. My team saw everything, Marian hired children, ball collectors to bring chairs, then I asked for water.”
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