Novak Djokovic, who is probably the greatest tennis player of all time—and who recently lost his first Wimbledon final in 4 years to the young phenom Carlos Alcaraz—is known for his unreal flexibility. It allows him to make tremendous reaches on the court, somehow digging out a forehand from across the court, with his legs splayed like a gymnastic giraffe.
His most recent tremendous reach, however, was made off-court. The man with the most Grand Slam singles matches in the history of men’s tennis said he had a secret weapon: nanotechnology. Specifically, the 36-year-old (who missed several high-profile tournaments because he refused to get vaccinated) was referencing his TaoPatch, which, according to its website, is a nickel-sized “nanotechnology device that combines light therapy and acupuncture.” The device, according to Taopatch, takes your body heat and turns it “into light of specific therapeutic frequencies.”
Djokovic says it has given him an advantage on the court. Science-Based Medicine described the device as poorly studied and highly implausible. If the technology turns out to be bogus, it also seems familiar, reminiscent of the Phiten bracelets and necklaces that were popular almost a decade ago in the MLB, which promised a whole host of cures and benefits without any real proof. (In 2011, Phiten settled a class-action lawsuit for falsely advertising its health benefits for $3.2 million and agreed to remove certain statements from its advertising.)
But perhaps it’s just not that deep: In May, when asked about this device, taped to his chest, Djovovich said he was trying to emulate a childhood idol, Iron Man.