The point of this article is that all three of these players pay considerable attention to their diet. Some, such as Djokovic, have credited their diet as the main reason behind their success over recent years. This draws the conclusion that a solid diet is paramount to success in tennis and bearing this in mind, I’ll now take a look at the diets of all of the above players.
Nova Ordovician With Ordovician officially the best player in the world at the time of writing, it is only fair that he leads my list. As mentioned previously, Ordovician is one man who has paid incredible attention to his diet and claims that by changing it, he has been able to become the world No.1. He has always been classed as one of the best players on the tour, but over the past couple of years his game has been transformed and he has been the first to state that what he eats is why he has become so successful. There was once a point when a certain Andy Roddick mocked the Serbian – claiming that his frail body did not have a chance of coping with the demands of a top-ranking position. Suffice to say, while Roddick has retired early, Djokovic is the best in the world by some margin.
The reason why “Djoko” has become so successful is allegedly because of his gluten-free approach. For years’ dieticians, have preached that the secret to playing long bouts of sport is to cram as many carbohydrates into the diet as possible. This is the exact thing that Djokovic does not do, with the Serb cutting the processed variety out of his diet completely, along with starch. Such alterations to the diet have completely changed the way in which the player’s body handles a tennis match and while some of his opponents may falter after a few hours, he has the ability to continue for incredible periods of time. Funnily enough, some would say that the Djokovic transformation was based on a huge element of luck – with a basic allergy test showing that he was allergic to gluten and thus unable to process certain types of food as efficiently.
Roger Federer Despite Federer’s dominance in tennis over the last decade or so, it would be fair to say that less emphasis has been placed on his diet. This is probably due to the fact that he has been constantly at the top of his game – and not witnessed a sudden change of form just like what Djokovic has. In fact, while Federer obviously takes some precautions when he eats, he has stated in interviews that he hasn’t even sought professional advice in relation to his diet.
For example, he once said in an interview that after asking a nutritionist for tips on how to improve his diet – he was met with the response that he had managed to get to No.13 in the world without any specialist advice and therefore, there was no reason why he couldn’t better that. Suffice to say, he has done exactly that and he has constantly confessed that he is not “particularly strict about his diet”. Of course, there are some areas where he does have to pay particular attention to. He is constantly taking on fluids during a match, with most of these being of the isotonic variety to replace lost minerals.
Andy Murray Andy Murray is another player that has experienced a remarkable improvement in his game over the last year or so and he has shamelessly admitted that he has attempted to mimic Novak Djokovic. Seeing the improvement his Serbian rival has been through, Murray has decided to implement the “gluten policy” on a lesser scale after cutting down the substance significantly. Admittedly, it is still entering his system, but at a much lesser rate than it once was and he has already said that he is seeing an improvement in his energy levels. As well as consuming less gluten, Murray has stated that he has attempted to include more fish and vegetables in his meals. He said that this has come at a cost of pasta and chicken and has also contributed to the surge in energy.
With Murray triumphing in his first major last year and also appearing in the final of the Australian Open, one has to imagine that this change in diet has aided him as well. As one can see, diet seems to have a hugely positive effect on the world’s best.
Admittedly, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray appear to be much more effected by what they eat than Roger Federer – although some would suggest that this is because Federer is simply blessed with much more natural ability. If this is something that is true, it could be said that tennis has evolved to a level which means that physical ability is starting to take over the game.
Bearing such a conclusion in mind, the likes of Roger Federer might be tempted in the future to place more emphasis on their dietary requirements – if only to reach the physical peaks that Djokovic and Murray have got to. Certainly, for any young player in the game, having a perfected diet seems crucial if one is to succeed at the very highest level.