Put yourself in Novak Djokovic’s tennis shoes. It’s 2009. You have been playing tennis passionately since the age of 4, even beneath a sky peppered with F-117 bombers in war-torn Serbia. It is your dream to win Grand Slam tournaments and be the best. But no matter how hard you train, your body betrays you. Djokovic had collapsed in matches before and now he was defending his title in the Australian Open against top player Andy Roddick. The whole world was watching. The last thing he wanted was to bow out from fatigue before the end of the match, but that is exactly what he had to do.
He felt exhausted, his body had no fight left – it just wouldn’t do what he wanted it to. The tennis world was unimpressed and shocked that someone would give up because they felt tired! But not all the spectators were bemused.
The Serbian doctor who had been watching the match contacted Djokovic to suggest that he might be gluten intolerant. Willing to try anything, the tennis player subjected himself to a series of tests that confirmed, yes, he had a very high intolerance to wheat, as well as sensitivity to dairy and tomatoes.