In the chaos and pressure of Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic finds an escape at a Buddhist temple just outside of the All England Club.
According to ESPN’s Mark Hodgkinson, for the last four years Djokovic has visited the Buddhapadipa Temple to meditate and relieve stress between matches.
Though Djokovic isn’t Buddhist, he appreciates the serenity at the temple and enjoys getting away from the crowds to enjoy nature.
He told Hodgkinson, “When I’m staying in Wimbledon Village, I like to relax between matches by being with nature.” He noted he enjoys “hearing the peaceful sounds of the water and seeing people just relax and connect with nature.”
In 2013, Djokovic also opened up about his meditation visits, saying:
“It’s very calm and quiet, obviously. I stay in a house which is very nearby. We like Wimbledon and London in general because there are so many beautiful parks and nature, places which you can call getaways during these two weeks of a hectic grand-slam atmosphere… Obviously, there is a huge amount of pressure and stress and everything involved, so you need to have a place where you know you can switch off and recharge your batteries. I guess it’s private, in a way. But I just can say that it’s a very calm and very beautiful environment where I like to spend time.”
Phramaha Bhatsakorn Piyobhas, one of the monks at the temple, told Hodgkinson that meditation improves concentration and focus, which could in turn help someone play tennis, or any sport, better.
Djokovic has become increasingly involved in off-the-court preparation in recent years. He has a strict, gluten-free diet and practices Eastern medicine, according to Paul Newman of The Independent. Djokovic also released a self-help lifestyle book in 2013 called “Serve to Win.”
The monks at Buddhapadipa Temple are familiar with Djokovic by now, although he often meditates alone instead of in groups or classes with them. Though they don’t have a TV at the temple, Piyobhaso told Hodgkinson that they can follow Djokovic’s progress on the Internet, or monitor the crowd noise from the nearby Centre Court.
Djokovic won his first round in three sets at Wimbledon on Monday, and is aiming for his third Wimbledon title in his career.
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