Novak Djokovic has set social media alight for the second time at the French Open after his second round win on Thursday.
The Serbian endured a marathon opening set before breezing past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-6, 6-0, 6-3 to advance into the third round.
But it was a moment following the almost 90-minute opening set when the 22-time Grand Slam winner took off his shirt that left those watching on scratching their heads.
Djokovic had what looked to be a small metal disc taped to the center of his chest, an extremely unusual sight that left Tennis Channel commentator Jim Courier labelling him “Iron Man.”
“Something taped to Novak. Have you ever seen Robert Downey Jr. in the same room as Djokovic? Maybe Novak is Iron Man,” Courier joked while commentating on the match.
Novak Djokovic currently has a clear piece of tape on his chest with something in the center.
Is this possibly another tennis player superstition?
I want to know how that little piece of tape stays on when he’s running at full speed & sweating 😂
pic.twitter.com/mNnhgtfXAo— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 31, 2023
The bizarre sight quickly spread around social media with theories over what the object on the star’s chest was.
Many were quick to believe the “superstition” stuck to the Serbian’s chest was a Q Magnet.
An item that is said to help in the treatment of pain and injury recovery.
Speculation only mounted when Djokovic was handed a replacement later in the match after it was delivered by a ball girl who had been handed it from his team.
“His trainer did give the ball girl another one of these,” Jason Goodall said.
The commentator noticed that Djokovic initially struggled to get to his chest, adding: “Novak a little confused as to whether to go over the top or under the bottom. He did change it in the end.”
The 36-year-old was asked about the mysterious object during his press conference but refused to delve into it, instead referencing the remark made by Courier.
“When I was a kid I liked Iron Man a lot, so I try to impersonate Iron Man,” Djokovic said with a smile before he took his response a step further.
“My team delivers an incredibly efficient nanotechnology to help me deliver my best on the court, so that’s the biggest secret of my career,” Djokovic said sarcastically. “If it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here.”
The Serbian isn’t adverse to controversies with the metal object the latest in a long line that have surrounded the tennis star.
Following his opening round encounter Djokovic infuriated Kosovo when he wrote “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop violence” on the lens of the TV camera as he walked off court.
The famously unvaccinated star was deported from Australia ahead of the 2022 Australian Open after a lengthy legal fight that saw his visa canceled.
He was defaulted from the 2020 US Open after hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball and caused widespread outrage when he hosted the infamous Adria Tour in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He attracted heavy criticism after claiming it was possible to alter the composition of water and food through positive thinking.