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Novak Djokovic: The ‘Iron Man’ system tennis star might put on at US Open – and what specialists make of it | Science & Tech Information

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Novak Djokovic has raised eyebrows at this 12 months’s Grand Slams by revealing a mysterious metallic disc strapped to his chest.

The tennis star had the coin-like system taped between his pectorals on the French Open and Wimbledon, and will put on it once more when the US Open begins on Monday.

His first opponent is Alexandre Muller, because the Serb goals for a record-extending twenty fourth Grand Slam males’s singles title.

The world quantity two sees the chest gadget as key to his success – so what’s it?

‘Largest secret of my profession’

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Djokovic was requested concerning the disc after his second spherical French Open win over Marton Fucsovics in Might, after it caught the eye of bemused commentators and viewers.

“After I was a child I preferred Iron Man so much,” he mentioned, noting its resemblance to a part of the Marvel superhero’s go well with.

“So I attempt to impersonate Iron Man.”

Iron Man’s similarly-shaped chest system powers his robotic outfit, and is designed to forestall bullet shrapnel in his physique from reaching his coronary heart.

For Djokovic, no such issues. As an alternative, he mentioned it is all about enhancing his efficiency on the court docket.

“My workforce delivers extremely environment friendly nanotechnology to assist me ship my finest,” he mentioned.

“That is in all probability the largest secret of my profession. If it wasn’t for that, I in all probability would not be sitting right here.”

Novak Djokovic wore the system at Wimbledon this 12 months

What sort of ‘nanotechnology’ is that this?

Following Djokovic’s feedback, an Italian firm known as Tao Applied sciences mentioned it was behind the system.

Described as a “human improve system”, the patented Taopatch is designed to enhance well being and wellbeing.

It claims the patch, which “makes use of two layers of nanocrystals that convert coronary heart out of your physique into mild”, sends therapeutic alerts to the wearer’s nervous system to assist their physique obtain true steadiness.

Improved sleep, posture, steadiness, flexibility, restoration instances, and focus, alongside reductions in stress, anxiousness, and persistent ache, are among the many advantages it purportedly offers.

The agency even claims the patch – which begins at £238 – has helped sufferers with a number of sclerosis.

Fabio Fontana, inventor of Taopatch and CEO of Tao Applied sciences, informed Sky Information he was impressed to spend money on the product after turning into depending on painkillers after a automotive accident.

“All of the therapies I attempted solely offered non permanent outcomes,” he mentioned.

“A physician in Rome was the primary to offer me outcomes with laser remedies. The advantages had been vital in relieving the strain within the muscle tissue of my neck and again, however its effectiveness lasted solely every week.

“I questioned if it will be doable to create a sort of wearable laser to delay the impact of the remedy.”

The nanocrystals, he mentioned, simulate the impact of the laser remedies he obtained – and that the patch is just “a unique approach of administering mild remedy”.

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Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2023 Serbia's Novak Djokovic during a break in play during his semi final match against Italy's Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Toby Melville
The Serb says the patch helps him carry out on the court docket

Are the claimed advantages reliable?

Tao says its patch is an accredited medical system, in line with EU rules, nonetheless is but to be accredited by America’s medicine regulator.

The agency cites research into its effectiveness on its web site. One Italian examine in 2021 concluded it improved steadiness, motion, and affected limbs of a number of sclerosis sufferers, whereas one other that seemed into its influence on athletic efficiency mentioned it had improved members’ grip and squat energy.

Mr Fontana additionally pointed to research into the advantages of sunshine remedy, and mentioned the patch was out there to all analysis establishments that wished to conduct scientific trials.

However Tao’s claims have failed to maneuver some specialists.

In an article for Science-Based mostly Medication, Dr Harriet Corridor mentioned the corporate’s clarification “just isn’t credible”.

Dr Brandon Beaber, a neurologist, has urged research might counsel a “little little bit of profit” anecdotally, however they remained unproven as far as a number of sclerosis remedy.

And Professor Edzard Ernst, of the College of Exeter, informed Sky Information not one of the firm’s claims appeared “supported by sound proof”.

“The notion that it generates any profit is bogus,” he mentioned.

“The ideas put ahead fly within the face of science.”

Prof Ernst mentioned any profit gained by Djokovic would “solely rely upon a placebo response”.

Novak Djokovic during the men's singles final
Djokovic in the course of the Wimbledon males’s singles last

Given Djokovic has not been banned from utilizing the patch, tennis authorities additionally seem unconvinced it offers tangible benefits.

The ATP Tour and Worldwide Tennis Federation haven’t commented on its use – and you possibly can be forgiven for having doubts given Djokovic’s earlier well being positions.

The 36-year-old famously refused to take a COVID vaccine, and missed several tournaments consequently as a consequence of worldwide journey restrictions.

He is additionally beforehand urged he believes some folks have telepathic powers, gave up gluten after claiming proximity to a chunk of white bread made his physique really feel weaker, and mentioned having an operation on his elbow in 2018 precipitated him to really feel “like I had failed myself”.

As for the “largest secret” of his profession, it is now out within the open.

Whether or not it makes any distinction or not, he’ll little question be among the many essential contenders on the US Open between now and the event’s finish on 10 September.

The 2023 US Open begins on Monday 28 August, reside on Sky Sports activities.

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