Djokovic, who went into the tournament as world number one and top seed, spoke out about his plant-based diet just days ago, crediting it for his faster recovery times.
‘I do eat plant-based’
Speaking at a post-match conference, Djokovic told the press he did not like being called vegan.
“I don’t like the labels, to be honest. I do eat plant-based (food), for quite a few years already,” he added.
“But because of the misinterpretations of labels and misuse of labels, I just don’t like that kind of name.
“I do eat plant-based. I think that’s one of the reasons why I recover well. I don’t have allergies that I used to have any more. And I like it.”
The Serbian player took the first set in a tie-break. Federer then won the second set comprehensively at 6-1, with a double break. Djokovic won the third set with another tie-break, and Federer won the fourth 6-4.
The Swiss player, often considered to be the greatest of all time, had two Championship points at 8-7, but Djokovic held his nerve and broke back to bring the set back on-serve.
This year, for the first time, Wimbledon implemented a rule where a tie-break would be played in the final set if the players reached 12 games each. Djokovic took a mini-break early in the tie-break, eventually taking the fifth set in what was the Championship’s longest final, running to four hours and 57 minutes, beating the previous record of four hours and 48 minutes set by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in 2008.
‘Chance to fight’
After the match, runner-up Roger Federer said: “I will try to forget [the loss]. It was a great match. It was long, it had everything, I had my chances, so did he. In a way I’m happy. But Novak was great. Well done. I still feel good. I can still stand. Back to dad and husband. It’s all good.”
Djokovic added: “If this was not the most exciting final then it was definitely the top two or three. I was up against one of the greatest players of all time, Roger, who I expect a lot.
“Unfortunately one player has to lose and we both had our chances. It’s unreal to be two match points down and come back. It’s a bit strange to play a tie-break at 12-all as well. I was hoping to get to the tie-breaks as well…When I was a boy and dreaming to be a tennis player this always has been the tournament for me.”
The professional tennis player is also one of the executive producers behind the vegan documentary The Game Changers.
“The Game Changers is a new film executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan that documents the explosive rise of plant-based eating in professional sports, mixing real-time, groundbreaking science with cinematic stories of struggle and triumph,” says the film’s description.
Speaking about the upcoming documentary, which hits more than 1,000 theaters across the world on September 16, Djokovic said: “It is about how this diet affects the world, not just personal health, but also sustainability, ecology, animals. This is what I care about so I’m really privileged to be part of that team.”
*This article was updated on July 14 to change the reported length of the match.