Djokovic coy on ‘magic potion’ shielded from public view

For one of the world’s most renowned athletes whose habits, diet and choices about vaccination spark constant conjecture and debate, footage of a member of Novak Djokovic’s trusted team mixing a concoction on the sidelines at the Paris Masters – and then trying to conceal their actions from prying eyes – was always going to send the internet into a spin.

The reality is that Djokovic is happy to keep everyone guessing about the exact contents of his drink bottle, preferring to promise that more will be revealed when viewers tune into a documentary about his life, a project delayed more than once.

The footage shows Djokovic’s physiotherapist Ulises Badio, captured via a fan’s mobile phone, pulling together a mix from his courtside seat, which was then transferred to the Serbian on court.

But what rankled fans were the moves by his entourage to try and shield those prying eyes from seeing any more than they wanted them to.

After two men in his team shielded him, Badio then popped up and handed the yellow drink bottle and its freshly mixed contents to a ball girl who took it to Djokovic, winner of 21 grand slam titles.

It’s not the first time that Djokovic’s mid-match consumption of liquids has attracted scrutiny. Nor is the nine-time Australian Open champion the only tennis star to be handed a specific item from their team during play. Tennis, by its very nature, means the individual stars are physically detached from their teams, from when they start a match until the conclusion.

At Wimbledon, where Djokovic was victorious in one of only two majors he played in 2022 due to being unable to get into or stay in Australia or the United States over his choice not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, he chuckled about the “magic potion” which gives him a lift during matches.

“I said you will find out soon, but not so soon,” Djokovic said when quizzed again after his victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios in the All-England club final.

“It’s going to come out as one of the supplement, let’s say, [product] lines that I’m doing right now with drink and few other things, sports drinks, et cetera. It will come out there.”

In joking with a reporter, he added: “You’ll try it, and you’ll let me know how it feels. You might win Wimbledon.”

The ongoing interest around Djokovic comes after he was seen appearing to try to inhale the contents of his drink bottle in an earlier Wimbledon match

One reporter sought clarification, asking if it was an “optical illusion”.

“That’s all I can say. It helps,” Djokovic said after his semi-final win over Cam Norrie.

“I can’t speak about it now. You’ll find out soon.”

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