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Djokovic overcomes allergies and marathon matches to win Australian Open

Djokovic had to overcome allergy symptoms to win the Australian Open last weekend.

Toward the end of his nearly six-hour duel with Rafael Nadal yesterday during the Australian Open final, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic appeared to pray that the match would soon be over. Visibly exhausted, Djokovic got his wish a few minutes later when he won the title, overcoming his opponent as well as the allergies that had plagued him throughout his weekend match-ups.

Djokovic is widely regarded as the world's premier tennis player, but his struggles proved that even athletes who are in peak physical condition can be slowed by allergies. Earlier in the weekend, Djokovic won a five-hour long match against Andy Murray, during which time observers noted that he appeared to have trouble breathing and moving effectively. After the match, he cited allergies as having persistently hampered his effectiveness.

"I've talked with couple of players that have a little allergy problems this year in Australia for no reason, ones they didn't have in last couple years, but they had reactions this year," Djokovic said. "I've been trying to do everything possible to clear that out. But, you know, we are all surrounded with the flowers."

Djokovic's struggles relative to those of his opponents should serve as a reminder that not all individuals are affected in the same way by allergies. While some may simply take medications and continue on with their days, others face a much more daunting road to recovery. Djokovic did not detail how he was able to overcome his allergy woes, but his performance should serve to inspire those who have asthma and allergies.

These individuals should couple taking allergy medication regularly with use of a HEPA air purifier in their homes to remove most allergens from the air. Irritants can be effectively avoided if individuals are aware of the particles that bother them.

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