More steel than snowflake: What makes Djokovic great

Sport

More steel than snowflake: What makes Djokovic great

Hugs, a guru, no meat and a favourite tree mark the Australian Open winner’s unusual route to the top

AFP

A strict vegetarian diet, a spiritual guru and family hugging sessions aren’t methods employed by most athletes, but they have helped Novak Djokovic turn himself into one of the best players ever – and now Australian Open champion for an eighth time.

The Serb has distinguished himself with his willingness to turn to the unusual, from hyperbaric chambers to meditation and Spanish guru Pepe Imaz, a former journeyman player whose “love and peace” philosophy drives his teachings.

Life has been a journey for the Serbian star, who grew up in war-torn Belgrade and practised in a disused swimming pool but is now based in the millionaire’s playground of Monte Carlo with more than $140m in prize money – a record – to his name...

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