by Alex Poletti
As he walked off the court at Arthur Ashe stadiums nursing a shoulder injury to a chorus of boos, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic knew he wouldn’t come any closer to catching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in grand slam titles. However, the world No. 1 has another way to reach his peers: the Grand Slams at Denny’s.
Djokovic currently ranks third all-time with 16 grand slam wins, with the two ahead of him still playing for the US Open title. One is likely to win, given recent history; since 2004, only four other players have won the tournament. However, the 32-year-old Serb isn’t ready to give up just yet.
“I may not be able to play tennis with my current injury, but I will be working on Slams,” Djokovic says. “I’ll start with the original, then work my way to the Lumberjack Slam, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
The Grand Slam is a (trademarked) mainstay on Denny’s menus around the country, featuring a full breakfast and then some. While certain options, such as the Fit Slam, are more approachable for athletes, the most hardcore slams require outsatnding strength and stomach volume to finish.
“For me, it’s all about conditioning,” the five-time Wimbledon champ explains. “I start with just some bacon strips. Then I take a few egg reps before going on to the full meal. Afterwards, I do a Grand Slam Slugger cooldown with some hash browns.”
The thousand-calorie snack has certainly had an effect on the Olympian, who is nearing peak Slam-eating shape. Ditching the feeble tennis physique for a full dad bod should help Djokovic reach his full potential.
However, Djokovic’s journey through the menu of America’s diner isn’t all roses. His shoulder injury still prohibits him from chowing down at full speed, putting him at a severe disadvantage against others of his ilk.
“I try to shove the pancakes into my mouth, but it puts far too much strain on my shoulder,” Djokovic says. “Luckily, that makes me take a moment to analyze why I’m trying to shove pancakes into my mouth, which makes me remember that I couldn’t beat Stan Wawrinka in a match. That makes me cry so much that I stress eat, so it works out in the end.”
Djokovic now holds the record with 21 grand slam wins: seven Australian Opens, five Wimbledons, three US Opens, a French Open, a Fit Slam, a Lumberjack Slam, two All-American Slams and a Grand Slam Slugger.