Novak Djokovic suffered a shock defeat to Danish Teenager Holger Rune in the Paris Masters final on Sunday night, but it’s been a video of his physiotherapist mixing a drink during his semi-final clash that’s really got fans talking.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner appeared on course for glory after racing to win the opening set in just 36 minutes.
But Rune immediately bounced back by breaking the Serbian, 35, early on in the second to take the showpiece to a decider.
The 19-year-old then recovered from an early break in the third set before breaking Djokovic’s serve in the 11th game and fending off six break points, to take his maiden Masters title 3-6 6-3 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes.
While Djokovic was on court against Rune, a video from his semi-final match against Stéfanos Tsitsipas was going viral on Twitter that showed his physiotherapist, Ulises Badio, preparing a mystery drink for the Serbian.
The footage shows Badio reach into a backpack to grab a bottle of water, then start mixing ingredients together for the mystery drink.
One of Djokovic’s team turns his back toward the camera to obscure vision of what Badio is doing.
Once Badio has made the drink he calls a ball girl over to take the yellow bottle to Djokovic, who is resting between games.
Can anyone who knows tennis explain what is going on here, and why it’s being done this way? It looks amazingly dodgy.
The clip was shared online by journalist Damian Reilly, who posted: ‘Can anyone who knows tennis explain what is going on here, and why it’s being done this way? It looks amazingly dodgy.’
Many fans believe the drink could contain a banned substance.
‘Huge money in tennis, the best of them are clearly taking PEDs and have been for years,’ replied one Twitter user.
‘OMG why are tennis authorities not looking at this,’ said another.
Others came to the Serbian’s defence, writing: ‘You seriously think if they’re going dope a player, they’ll do it in the crowd in front of TV cameras?’
It is not the first time Djokovic has sparked confusion about what he drinks while on court. In July he made headlines when he was seen appearing to inhale a substance out of a bottle during a match at Wimbledon.
Djokovic became the subject of debate on social media when he appeared to look towards his support crew sitting courtside during his last-16 win over Tim van Rijthoven before seemingly breathing in the contents rather than drinking them.
The tennis ace has refused to reveal what goes into his drinks, only answering ‘magic potion’ when asked quizzed by curious journalists.
According to The Telegraph, the Serbian star is one of many professional players opting to take unmixed energy supplements or isotonic powder during matches.
‘You wouldn’t really get any benefit from doing it mid-match, but I’m sure this is isotonic,’ a source told the publication.
A lot of players have started eating powder, even pre-workout isotonic powder.
‘They’ve started eating it without water. It’s mainly pre-workout stuff because it gives them a buzz.
‘I imagine it’s disgusting in the throat. It’s weird, but it is what they are doing.’