Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic celebrated advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open by ripping off his shirt at Melbourne Park on Jan. 20.
Novak showcased his rippling six-pack abs after concluding the epic five-hour, five-set (1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10) victory against the No. 15 seed, Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, which ended at 1:23 a.m. local time.
Shortly after his win, a happy Djokovic tweeted a shirtless photo of himself wearing only a towel while lying down in a locker room surrounded by his trainers.
Novak, 25, has been on a tear since switching to a gluten-free diet two years ago. He has credited the dietary overhaul for dramatically improving his tennis and overall health.
"If you can mentally overcome this greed and eat only the food that is good for your metabolism, then you will have the best results, not just in tennis but in life as well,” said Djokovic.
“Mentally, you’ll be fresh, you’ll be happier, you’ll be calmer. Physically, you’ll be stronger, faster, more dynamic, your muscles will work better. That’s what I feel."
In 2010, Novak hired a nutritionist and was tested for food intolerances, which indicated he was allergic to gluten. Since then, Djokovic has followed a high-protein, gluten-free diet and has been dominating on the tennis court. Novak now avoids most starches, including pizza and pasta.
Djokovic initially lost weight after cutting gluten out of his diet (a result the naturally lean Novak was not trying to achieve), but insists it has only helped his game.
"I have lost some weight but it's only helped me, because my movement is much sharper now and I feel great physically," said the 6-foot-2 Novak, whose weight now hovers at 176 pounds.
“I am very skinny. [But] I am fast and very powerful on the court, so this is what matters.”
On Jan. 27, 2013, Djokovic, the two-time defending champion, made history by becoming the first man in the Open era to win the Australian Open three years in a row.