Novak Djokovic’s bizarre habit of inhaling the contents of a water bottle during his quarter-final at Wimbledon has caused a stir among tennis fans.
The men’s top league, who plays British hopeful Cameron Norrie for a spot in the final, has been stirring tongues on social media after he was caught on camera taking something from a drinking bottle during a change of ends.
During his last-16 win over Tim van Rijthoven, the Serb appeared to check with his support crew who sat on the side of the court before inhaling the contents rather than drinking them.
One fan said: ‘I would really like to know what was in this bottle. It certainly wasn’t liquid, and he gestured to his coach before inhaling it. Very strange.’
According to The Telegraph† the Serbian star, 35, is one of many professional players who choose to take unmixed energy supplements or isotonic powder during matches.
“You wouldn’t really benefit from doing it halfway through the game, but I’m sure this is isotonic,” a source told the publication.
Many players have started eating powder, even pre-workout isotonic powder.
An unnamed source said Novak Djokovic, 35, is one of many professional players who choose to digest neat energy drinks or isotonic powder during matches (pictured)
Fans were confused about what Djokovic got out of a drinking bottle when swapping ends
Similar appearance to washing powder:
Rapidly replenishes carbohydrate/energy levels
Usually taken dissolved in water and drunk before or during exercise
Often in endurance sports when energy levels drop and need to be replenished
Isotonic supplements vary in strength depending on the intensity and duration of exercise
“They started eating it without water. It’s mostly pre-workout stuff because it gives them a buzz.
‘I can imagine that it is disgusting in the throat. It’s weird, but it’s what they do.’
Isotonic powder is easily digestible and quickly replenishes carbohydrates when energy levels need to remain high during such elite and intense competitions.
Such supplements are usually taken by dissolving the powder in water and then drinking it before or during exercise to allow the body to perform at maximum levels. Taken with water, it softens the metallic taste and moisturizes the body.
Isotonic products can be used to recharge energy levels before performance or are often used during endurance sports to restore energy lost during exercise.
The supplements vary in strength depending on the intensity and duration of the effort.
It is common for tennis players to have nutritional drinks and snacks during matches, especially when going the distance up to five sets.
Djokovic was in fact involved in a five-set thriller when tennis fans clocked him squeezing something out of a plastic bottle with the No. 1 seed coming back from two sets down to beat Jannik Sinner 5-7, 2-6, 6 -3, 6-2, 6-2.
Some cynics accused the famed anti-vaxxer of doping, which was quickly panned by Wimbledon officials.
Djokovic takes on Briton Cameron Norrie in Wimbledon semi-final after beating Jannik Sinner
One fan said on Twitter: ‘If he was going to baptize, I’m sure Center Court, in front of the public, referee and countless millions watching on TV, is exactly where he would do it,’ followed by three laughing crying face emojis.
While another said: ‘I wasn’t suggesting doping or anything but was just interested in what it really is, I’ve never seen a player inhale anything during his match. It must be something new.’
The frontrunner did the same at the Australian Open two years ago, joking: ‘The liquids were magic potions that my physio makes in his lab’ when asked what was in his drinking bottle.
Djokovic is gluten intolerant and has an incredibly strict diet. He changed his diet after blood tests showed he had trouble digesting wheat and dairy.
He promoted smoothies, drinking water and avoided all confectionery – once upon a time there was a story where Djokovic, after not having chocolate for 18 months, had a single cube melt on his tongue before he was satisfied.
Djokovic is now two wins away from a 21st Grand Slam title, having won his 20th major at Wimbledon last year.
As he is unlikely to grace the US Open courts due to his continued vaccination stance, the All England Club looms this year as the last venue where Djokovic could potentially match Rafael Nadal’s 21 Grand Slam tally in his career.
World No. 4 Nadal will face polarizing Aussie Nick Kyrgios for a Wimbledon decider spot in the other semi-final on Friday.