Wimbledon Champ Serves up a Gluten Free Diet
Mostly every major sports publication has written about it. Commentators are talking about it. Blogs are blogging about it. What is it? It’s the fact that Serbian tennis player, Novak Djokovic’s domination of the sport of tennis has coincided with his gluten free diet. I decided to wait to see if his ascent would continue on through tennis’ most important tournament – and it did.
Last week’s Wimbledon win made Djokovic the world’s number one player and many wonder if his gluten free diet has anything to do with his powerful rise to the top. He was already a great tennis player while eating gluten, but last year’s discovery of his gluten allergy and switch to a gluten free diet happened around the same time as the beginning of his crazy winning streak: 49 wins, including 5 straight wins over former top-ranked Rafa Nadal, and 1 loss (only in the French Open semifinals against Roger Federer.)
In the 2011 season, Djokovic has won the following tournaments: Wimbledon, Serbia Open, Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, Australian Open, Sony Ericsson Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Pacific Life Open, and The Dubai Tennis Championships.
Djokovic spoke about the change earlier this year. “I have lost some weight but it’s only helped me because my movement is much sharper now and I feel great physically,” he said in April. He now stays away from most processed carbohydrates as well as all gluten.
Did Djokovic’s change in diet turn him into a greater, more fit tennis player or did it simply give him more confidence to believe he was a greater, more fit tennis player? Either way, he is definitely a greater, more fit tennis player than he has ever been.