Celiac.com 03/02/2012 - Riding high on a gluten-free diet and new training regimen, Novak Djokovic survived eleven grueling hours of tennis over three days to emerge as the 2012 Australian Open men's champion.

Djokovic shown at the 2011 French Open-Photo: CC--y.caradecLess than two days after an impressive five set victory over Andy Murray, Djokovic was back on court at Melbourne Park for a six-hour battle against Rafael Nadal.

So what's fueling such remarkable feats of endurance by a player once derided by fellow pro Andy Roddick as a hypochondriac?

Djokovic adopted a gluten free diet in July 2010, after nutritionist Igo Cetojevic discovered that the Serb suffered from celiac disease, and thus from poor nutritional absorption and other problems associated with his body's adverse reaction to gluten.

Since going gluten-free, Djokovic has seen quick and steady results, including a 64-match victory streak and won four grand titles.

Now, lest we chalk-up his success to a gluten-free diet, it's important to realize that Djokovic spends many hours working on physical development, in addition to lots of heavy drilling on the court. That includes three intense interval sessions in a week, and three heavy lifting sessions in a week. All tolled, it adds up to twenty hours or more of serious training.

When nutrition, training and skill come together in an athlete as strong and talented as Novak Djokovic, the results are stunning to behold.

Will Djokovic continue his gluten-free domination of men's tennis? Stay tuned for more news.

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