In his pursuit of greatness, it is well documented that Novak Djokovic has left no stone unturned.
From changing his diet to incorporating meditation into his training, the Serb is constantly trying to find that extra advantage to increase his chances on the tennis court.
However, his latest efforts have led to criticism.
A video posted to social media shows Djokovic’s physiotherapist Ulises Badio preparing a drink in the stands during Saturday’s semi-final victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Paris Masters.
Badio is then shielded by two other men as he finishes preparing the potion, before giving it to a ball girl to pass on to Djokovic.
The incident has been described by two journalists on Twitter as “astonishingly unreliable” and “bizarre”.
However, Djokovic’s wife Jelena has launched a vigorous defense of the 21-time grand slam champion on social media.
“I don’t see anything unreliable,” Jelena Djokovic wrote in one reply. “I even see people trying to be private about their business in a world where everyone feels they have every right to point a camera at you whenever they want.
“Apparently wanting/trying to be private makes you untrustworthy these days.”
In a Twitter interaction, a user suggested Djokovic hire a PR agency to avoid this kind of reaction, an idea that made short work of the tennis star’s wife.
“He’ll talk when he’s ready to talk,” Jelena replied. “This whole nonsense of making people talk about something they are not ready for because OTHERS are impatient (sic) is absurd.
‘Sit in silence for a bit. Think more about yourself. Not everything you see is controversial. It can be private. Is that allowed?”
Djokovic was eventually defeated by unseeded Danish teenager Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 7-5 in the final of the Paris Masters.
It is not the first time that Djokovic is curious about a drinking bottle.
During his victorious Wimbledon run earlier this year, Djokovic was seen inhaling from a drinking bottle. When questioned about it during the post-match press conference, the world’s number 8 laughed it off and said it was a “magic potion.”
“It’s going to come out as one of the complements, say, lines that I’m doing now with booze and a few other things,” he said.
“You’re going to try it and you’ll let me know how it feels. You might win Wimbledon.”
With the January Australian Open fast approaching, it remains unclear whether Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, will be able to compete.
He is currently banned from entering the country until 2025 after being evicted before the start of the tournament earlier this year.
Last month, Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said he would not try to convince the Australian government to allow Djokovic to participate in the tournament.
“Right now, Novak and the federal government need to work out the situation and then we will follow all instructions,” Tiley told reporters.
“It’s not something we can lobby for. It’s definitely a matter between the two of them and then, depending on the outcome, we’d welcome him to the Australian Open.
“(Djokovic) said he would of course like to come back to Australia, but he knows it will be an ultimate decision for the federal government.
“He has accepted that position. It is a private matter between them, but we would like to welcome Novak back – he is a nine-time champion – provided he meets the appropriate entry requirements for Australia.”