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From gluten-free Djokovic to vegan Serena, tennis diets score for variety

Serena Williams goes vegan.
Serena Williams goes vegan.
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When it comes to how the elite players of the Australian Open are planning on winning big, they have one element in common: They're all devoted to their strict diets. Whether it's a low-fat focus like Roger Federer or vegan virtue like Serena Williams, fueling the right way is the name of the game, reported the News Limited on Jan. 16.

Here's what scores for the top-ranked players:

Novak Djokovic became number two in the world with his exceptionally strict gluten-free diet. But he goes beyond the typical wheat-free approach, by putting his own spin on it.

Warm food, honey and water all play roles in his diet, which he documented in "Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence" (click for details).

Sloane Stephens spices up her life with curry, insisting on eating it as much as possible regardless of where she's touring.

"You guys have got to go," she told the media about a favorite restaurant at Wimbledon. "I go there every night. It's tasty. I really love it, it's the only Indian that has everything."

Roger Federer fuels himself with low-fat, carb-rich meals, in contrast. He eats cereal with low-fat milk or pancakes with syrup.

And after his workouts, he eats more carbs to refuel.

Serena Williams is varying her menu these days. Although she says that she loves chicken, she went vegan for awhile to support her sister Venus, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

Venus suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome, reported the Washington Post. This autoimmune disease, which can result in joint pain and fatigue, may be helped with dietary changes, according to some experts.

Because the two live together, Serena wants to help Venus stay on her new food plan.

"I don’t want her to come home and see a piece of chicken and be like, ‘Oh, I want it,’ and she can’t have it. It would be like a stumbling block for her," Serena said.

"Truthfully, I don't eat a lot before my matches. I can't eat because I get too nervous. I'll force myself to really carb up the night before, especially later on in the tournament, because I know I wont be able to eat in the morning. But carbing-up doesn't mean pasta - I'm more into brown rice or sprouted quinoa."