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Subsequent blood tests showed that Djokovic was strongly intolerant to wheat and dairy products and mildly sensitive to tomatoes.
Being told to stop eating bread and cheese and cut down on tomatoes was not the best news for someone whose parents owned a pizza restaurant, but the open-minded Djokovic was willing to give it a go.
Cetojevic told Djokovic that he suspected food sensitivities were causing his physical problems and affecting his mental state.
He told the player he could help him devise a diet that would be right for his body and could transform his health and fitness.
Djokovic felt sluggish and dizzy, as if he had a hangover.
When he switched permanently to the diet, the benefits quickly followed.
Until now Djokovic has been reluctant to go into detail about the regime that has turned his life and career around.
Cetojevic and Djokovic’s father had mutual friends and six months later the doctor was doing the bread test that confirmed his original suspicion.Thankfully for the Serb, however, Cetojevic was watching.The key to the diet Djokovic now follows is the absence of both gluten – which is present in most foods – and dairy products. The world No 1’s diet is based on vegetables, beans, white meat, fish, fruit, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, lentils and healthy oils. Djokovic buys organic food wherever possible and cooks almost every meal himself; when on tour he always tries to stay in hotels which will let him use their kitchen.During a victory over Gaël Monfils at the US Open three months later he took four medical timeouts after running out of breath.Djokovic had always worked hard on his fitness and in the search for a solution to his problems – which some put down to asthma – he changed trainers, adopted new training regimes, had nasal surgery and took up meditation and yoga.