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Novak Djokovic recalls being hungover during a Davis Cup match

Novak Djokovic. Hungover. During an official tennis game. Can you believe that?
Novak Djokovic. Hungover. During an official tennis game. Can you believe that?
Rupin Kale
Modified 06 May 2020

Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 tennis player in the world at the moment, was not always the disciplined athlete he is renowned to be today. In an Instagram chat with former player Maria Sharapova, Djokovic spoke about the time he might have been hungover during an official tennis game.

The two tennis superstars did the live session on 5 May, discussing tons of juicy topics like long lost friends. Sharapova added spice to their conversation halfway through the chat, taking up a question from a fan who asked if either of them had ever been hungover during a tennis game.

Novak Djokovic initially tried to give a ambiguous answer, saying that he doesn't consume alcohol very often. However, after digging a little more into his past, the 32-year-old recalled an interesting experience he had during his breakthrough season in 2011.

"I have had crazy nights during the Davis Cup weekends where I have been hungover watching other guys play. I just remembered: I did play one doubles match (hungover) in 2011," the Serb said.
2011 was a memorable year for Novak Djokovic Ҁ“ in a lot of ways!
2011 was a memorable year for Novak Djokovic – in a lot of ways!

Novak Djokovic had won his first-ever Wimbledon that year, beating Rafael Nadal 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3 in the final. He also became the top-ranked player in the world following that result, and evidently celebrated quite a bit after that double achievement.

"It was in the 2011 Davis Cup against Sweden. We were 2-love up. Soderling and other top guys were playing for Sweden. I came back from my first Wimbledon victory, I became Number 1. All my dreams came true," Djokovic said.
"I travelled literally on the next day from London to Sweden to take part in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup. I was in the team, but I was saying that I don't want to be a part of any official matches. I don't know how I ended up playing the doubles match.
"I wasn't seeing the ball clearly, let's keep it to that."

Novak Djokovic is "not good" with alcohol!

The World No.1's alertness – or lack thereof – had an effect on the game, as he and his partner Nenad ZimonjiΔ‡ lost to Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt in three straight sets. But fortunately for Novak Djokovic, Serbia won the round with a 4-1 margin.

"At least it was a doubles game, I have a slight justification there. Even though it's not fair towards the doubles guys," he added. "I have never been hungover in a game after that – I am not good with alcohol!"

Djokovic had played a decisive role in Serbia's victory the previous year, where they won a dramatic final against France by a 3-2 margin.

Novak Djokovic played a major part in Serbia
Novak Djokovic played a major part in Serbia's title-winning run in the 2010 Davis Cup

The Serb has been one of the most disciplined players in the elite tennis circuit over the last few years, crediting his strict gluten-free diet and holistic lifestyle for his immense success.

Thanks to Maria Sharapova, we now know that even the mighty Novak Djokovic has had a few slips ups here and there!

Published 06 May 2020, 00:58 IST
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