Novak Djokovic’s routine: From eating gluten-free muesli, to drinking celery juice followed by meditation and yoga (and then some tennis!)… Mail Sport first-hand experience of replicating superstar’s lifestyle before Wimbledon – Maxsports
May 20, 2024

Maxsports

All Sports To The Max

Novak Djokovic’s routine: From eating gluten-free muesli, to drinking celery juice followed by meditation and yoga (and then some tennis!)… Mail Sport first-hand experience of replicating superstar’s lifestyle before Wimbledon

The focus of the tennis world this month was transfixed on the premiere tournament of the sport: Wimbledon.

The iconic grass-court Grand Slam concluded just over a week ago in fascinating fashion as Marketa Vondrousova won the women’s singles title and Carlos Alcaraz lifting the men’s.

Whenever Wimbledon is on, it tends to see an uptake in the British public picking up a racquet and playing as they look to emulate the likes of homegrown hero Andy Murray, seven-time champion Novak Djokovic and current women’s world No 1 Iga Swiatek.

And in the build-up to the action getting underway at SW19, Mail Sport were given an insight into the lifestyle of a tennis player.

Courtesy of ASICS, we were invited to their ASICS House of Tennis experience to see how their athletes epitomise ASICS acronym of Strong Mind, Sound Body (from the Latin phrase: anima sana in corpore sano).

Mail Sport got an insight into how Novak Djokovic lives his life in the build up to Wimbledon

Mail Sport got an insight into how Novak Djokovic lives his life in the build up to Wimbledon

Mail Sport were invited to ASICS' House of Tennis to see how their sponsored athletes train

Mail Sport's Luke Augustus was all smiles ahead of the event

Mail Sport were invited to ASICS’ House of Tennis to see how their sponsored athletes train

Among their list of athletes, ASICS can boast Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, Alex de Minaur, Christopher Eubanks, Wimbledon boy’s champion Henry Searle and Djokovic who wear their apparel. And it was the latter’s routine that Mail Sport got a glimpse of at first hand to sample.

Before the event began, we were asked to fill out a form compiled by Dr Brendon Stubbs – a physiotherapist and acclaimed mental well-being researcher. Rating how we feel on a scale of 1-10 (with one = not at all, five = average and 10 = extremely) the subject matter of the questions ranged from coping with stress to feeling energised.

This quick survey was then put against our answers after the activities so we could compare the before and after on our physical and mental state of mind.

And once that was completed, we moved on to the dietary demands.

Djokovic has a gluten-free and plant-based diet but starts his day with a glass of warm water and lemon – citing in the past that it ‘helps his body detoxify’.

Once that it has been consumed it’s on to the ‘power bowl’. Described as an ‘energy-boosting bowl’ this comprised of mixed seeds, mixed nuts, gluten-free muesli, berries, strawberries, banana and yoghurt.

Completing his morning meal, the Serb washes it all down with a glass of celery juice and a green smoothie. The latter is comprised of peas, celery, apple juice, mint, spinach and kale. Both drinks are packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients.

After digesting the above, it was on to meditation and yoga – a staple of Djokovic’s daily routine.

To start his day, Djokovic eats a 'power bowl' that includes mixed seeds, mixed nuts and fruit

How Djokovic's typical 'power bowl' looks

To start his day, Djokovic eats a ‘power bowl’ that includes mixed seeds, mixed nuts and fruit

After eating, it was on to a 20-minute yoga and meditation to calm the mind and body

After eating, it was on to a 20-minute yoga and meditation to calm the mind and body

After eating, it was on to a 20-minute yoga and meditation to calm the mind and body

Lasting just 20-minutes, this gentle session involved several stretches and box-breathing exercises which culminated in a state of tranquility for everyone taking part.

The box-breathing itself involved inhaling and counting to four, before pausing for another four seconds and then exhaling for the same amount of time before repeating it all again. 

And then it was on to the actual tennis. But first it was a warm-up led by former British tennis player-now-coach Alex Ward. Ward, who now coaches Great Britain’s Katie Swan, led the routine with plenty of dynamic exercises ranging from the upper body through to the lower extremities.

Now fully warm, we focused on volleys – a staple of the grasscourt season. Admittedly most of those present – Mail Sport included – could not replicate the deft art of the professionals (shock) but we all grew in confidence as the session wore on – which concluded with De Minaur and Bencic looking for volleying-hitting partners when they joined in hitting against a wall.

De Minaur and Bencic then spoke to Mail Sport and the others about what it takes to succeed on and off the court.

Before partaking in tennis, a vigorous warm-up involving several dynamic movements was first

Before partaking in tennis, a vigorous warm-up involving several dynamic movements was first

After warming up, the main focus of the tennis session was on volleying - a key on a grass court

After warming up, the main focus of the tennis session was on volleying - a key on a grass court

After warming up, the main focus of the tennis session was on volleying – a key on a grass court

Thomas Johansson, Alex de Minaur, Belinda Bencic, Dr Brendon Stubbs and Alex Corretja (L-R) were all present during the ASICS House of Tennis experience

Thomas Johansson, Alex de Minaur, Belinda Bencic, Dr Brendon Stubbs and Alex Corretja (L-R) were all present during the ASICS House of Tennis experience 

Those tips concluded the session but what about the earlier survey results? From Dr Stubbs’ survey it was found that there was a positive link between movement and better mental health.  

Overall, participants’ State of Mind Index Scores improved by 17.6 per cent, meaning that the event’s attendees felt more uplifted after completing the experience across a number of different mental health criteria, including confidence, calmness and focus.

Below are some additional findings that the survey found:

  • Participants felt 31.5 per cent more positive after completing the routine
  • Attendees felt 24.3 per cent more calm as well as 17.8 per cent more confident at the end of the experience
  • Participants felt 22.1 per cent better equipped with stress having taking part in the regime

With the championships now over and that insight duly noted it’s time for Mail Sport to try and replicate all of the above on to a tennis court.

But it’s safe to say, Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic and Co have nothing to worry about!