Novak Djokovic is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for perfection, but his drink-mixing secret is drawing scrutiny



CNN

In his quest for greatness, it is well documented that Novak Djokovic has left no stone unturned.

From changing his diet to incorporating meditation into his training, the Serb is constantly trying to find that extra edge to improve his chances on the tennis court.

His latest efforts, however, have drawn criticism.

In a video posted on social media, Djokovic’s physio, Ulises Badio, is seen preparing a drink in the stands during Saturday’s semi-final win over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Paris Masters.

Badio is then protected by two more men as he finishes preparing the drink, before handing it to a ball girl to pass to Djokovic.

The incident has been described as “incredibly dodgy” and “strange” by two journalists on Twitter.

However, Djokovic’s wife Jelena has launched a strong defense of the 21-time Grand Slam champion on social media.

“I don’t see anything wrong,” Jelena Djokovic wrote in a reply. “In fact, I see people trying to be private about their business in a world where everyone feels they have every right to point a camera at you whenever they want.

“Apparently wanting/trying to be private makes you dodgy these days.”

In an interaction on Twitter, one user suggested that Djokovic hire a PR agency to help avoid this kind of backlash, an idea that the tennis star’s wife gave some weight to.

“He’ll talk when he’s ready to talk,” Jelena replied. “This whole nonsense of making people talk about something they’re not ready for because OTHERS are impatient (sic) is absurd.

“Sit quietly for a bit. Be more careful. Not everything you see is controversial. It might be private. Is that allowed?”

Djokovic was eventually defeated by unseeded Danish teenager Holger Rune 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the Paris Masters final.

It is not the first time that Djokovic has aroused curiosity about a bottle of drink.

During his Wimbledon victory earlier this year, Djokovic was seen inhaling from a drink bottle. When asked about it in the post-game press conference, the no. 8 laughed at it and said it was a “magic potion”.

“It’s going to come out as one of the supplemental, let’s say, lines that I’m doing right now with booze and a few other things,” he said.

“You’ll try and tell me how you feel. Maybe you’ll win Wimbledon.”

With the Australian Open fast approaching in January, it is still unclear whether Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, will be able to compete.

He is currently banned from returning to the country until 2025 after being deported before the start of the tournament earlier this year.

Last month, Tennis Australia coach Craig Tiley said he would not try to convince the Australian government to allow Djokovic to compete in the tournament.

“At this point, Novak and the federal government have to resolve the situation and then we will follow any instructions,” Tiley told reporters.

“It is not an issue on which we can press. It’s definitely a matter between the two of them and then, depending on the outcome, we’ll welcome him to the Australian Open.

“(Djokovic) said he would obviously love to come back to Australia, but he knows it will be a final decision for the federal government.

“He has accepted this position. It is a private matter between them, but we would like to welcome Novak back (he is a nine-time champion), provided he meets the appropriate entry requirements in Australia.”

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