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Novak Djokovic to Garbine Muguruza: "I used to eat meat 3 times a day, now it's the opposite"

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

With most parts of the world still under lockdown or self-imposed isolation owing to the coronavirus pandemic, people have been trying their best to communicate through social media. And that includes tennis stars like Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza.

ATP's 'Tennis United' show has played an active role in bringing tennis stars closer to each other during this crisis period, by getting ATP and WTA players to jointly discuss a wide range of topics. Launched on the organization's official YouTube channel in April, the Tennis United show uploads weekly episodes hosted by Canadian World No. 93 Vasel Pospisil and American WTA player Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Doubles specialist and multiple grand-slam champion Mattek-Sands hosting an episode of Tennis United with Canadian Vasek Pospisil
Doubles specialist and multiple grand-slam champion Mattek-Sands hosting an episode of Tennis United with Canadian Vasek Pospisil

On Friday, in the most recent episode of the series, Pospisil and Mattek-Sands were joined by current ATP World No. 1 and tennis legend Novak Djokovic as well as two-time Grand Slam champion and former WTA World No. 1 Garbiñe Muguruza.

Pospisil, who has often vocally appreciated the changes Novak Djokovic is trying to bring as the President of the ATP Player Council, was really excited to have the Serbian icon on his show. Djokovic, who had been living in Spain during the lockdown, said that he traveled to Marbella to meet his family when the Indian Wells ATP Masters was cancelled - and ended up staying there for the next 2.5 months.

The two men were then greeted by the Australian Open 2020 runner-up Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, who was in her kitchen cooking a delicious-looking Spanish omelette.

Novak Djokovic and his unusual dietary practices

The conversation between the tennis stars quickly moved on to their eating habits and food choices. Djokovic, known for his strict dietary regulations (which helped him overcome his physical shortcomings early in his career), revealed that he has been practising "intermittent fasting" - where he goes up to 16 hours without consuming any food.

"Basically, I try to go for 16 hours of not consuming any major calories or anything that will require energy for digestion and then I eat in the next 8 hours," Djokovic said.

The Serb further said that he is not a fan of the "typical heavy breakfast". Instead, he likes to start his day with some warm water and lemon, as he believes that is good for detoxification, followed by fruits and a "green juice" made from spinach and other leafy vegetables.

The World No. 1 then light-heartedly taunted Muguruza on her heavy Spanish meal, calling himself "low expense" in comparison, which elicited hearty laughter from both Muguruza and Pospisil.

Novak Djokovic has made it a habit to drink only warm water
Novak Djokovic has made it a habit to drink only warm water

Djokovic, who had called himself a "pescatarian" a few years ago, stressed that he's wholly into plant-based food now.

"It's been like this for 5 years now. I grew up in a totally opposite way, eating meat 3 times a day, so I changed that. And I like it the way it is now."

Upon hearing this, Muguruza posed a question to the 17-time Grand Slam champion that most of his fans would also like to know. The Spaniard asked Djokovic whether he plans to continue the same diet once he retires from playing tennis, or if he intends to relax some of the rules occasionally.

Djokovic replied that he doesn't feel the need to relax his dietary practices to enjoy a retreat with family and friends. The Serb further added that he has occasional barbecues with friends and family but has vegetables and salad instead of meat.

Novak Djokovic also owns a vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo
Novak Djokovic also owns a vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo

Later on in the show, Pospisil decided to put the champions "On the Spot" as he asked them a series of questions that they had to answer quickly. Djokovic was asked about the first time he had "cried for a win", and the eight-time Australian Open champion recalled the first tennis tournament he had ever played in his life - when he was merely 8 years old.

The Serb said he was ecstatic to win the match 10-8 in a tiebreak, and that he cried tears of joy as his mom hugged him.

The Serbian tennis great has been playing tennis since he was 8 years old
The Serbian tennis great has been playing tennis since he was 8 years old

Interestingly, Djokovic also mentioned that the next day he lost 9-0 to close friend and compatriot Viktor Troicki. Troicki, who now holds a 1-13 losing head-to-head record against Djokovic, would surely enjoy looking back at this drubbing of his close friend when they were kids.

Garbine Muguruza won the first tournament that she played

Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza

Novak Djokovic then put Garbine Muguruza on the spot, asking her to recall the first tennis tournament that she played. Muguruza, who was born in Venezuela, said that the event was in her country of birth - when she was 6 years old. She remembers it well as she won the tournament.

Muguruza also revealed that the first thing she bought after receiving her first paycheck of €258 from tennis was an MP3 player. For Djokovic, it was a sports jersey.

Novak Djokovic calls his 2012 Australian Open final against Nadal "the most draining"

Novak Djokovic after his historic win over Rafael Nadal in Australian Open 2012
Novak Djokovic after his historic win over Rafael Nadal in Australian Open 2012

The World No. 1 also revealed that his 5 hr 53 min classic against Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open 2012 was the most physically draining and tiring match he had ever played. The epic five-setter, which gave Djokovic his fifth Grand Slam title and third Australian Open, still remains the longest Slam final ever played.

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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