Novak Djokovic sponsorship deal in doubt as Venus Williams agreement is struck

Novak Djokovic: Adam Hills shares opinion on tennis star

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Novak Djokovic could see his sponsorship deal with French company Lacoste come to an end after it was announced that US tennis star Venus Williams had become the face of the famous clothing brand.

The Serbian star, 34, signed a multi-year deal with the Troyes-based manufacturer in 2017 after ending his deal with Japanese supplier Uniqlo.

The deal has seen him earn millions in revenue for sporting the famous crocodile on his shirt, all the while picking up multiple Grand Slams over the last five years.

However news broke earlier this week that Venus Williams – who has won six Grand Slams in an illustrious career – had secured a similar deal with Lacoste.

And that could spell bad news for Djokovic, who may see his deal come to an end over vaccination issues despite gaining an extended contract until 2025 just seven months ago.

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Luzerner Zeitung reported that Djokovic’s deal is worth around £6.8million per year.

However, they report that the Belgrade-born icon’s stance on vaccination could see the sponsorship cease to exist.

Djokovic was denied approval to take part in the Australian Open in January after it became apparent that he did not comply with vaccination rules in Melbourne.

He was originally granted medical exemption from mandatory vaccination by Tennis Australia, although he was detained by Australian Border Force upon his arrival after it was confirmed he did not meet entry requirements for an unvaccinated traveller.

And just nine days later, he was evicted from the country, with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke voting that it was in the public interest to do so.

Since then, Williams clinched a deal with Lacoste on March 2.

And given that Peugeot dropped Djokovic as a sponsor following the Australian ordeal, his worst fears could be realised if Lacoste decide to drop him as well.

“Novak is not only an exceptional athlete but also one of those great champions who has a wonderful spirit both on and off the court,” Lacoste chief executive Thierry Guibert said previously.

“Our meeting in 2017 was a real coup de coeur.

“His audacity, tenacity and kindness impressed me and I am proud that we can continue our common adventure together and accompany him in his new challenges.”

Djokovic is hoping to win his 21st Grand Slam at the French Open later this year.

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