Djokovic grateful to sponsors who resisted to the pressure about his non-vaccination

Novak Djokovic stated that his main sponsors faced pressure related to his non-vaccinated status. The most important ones did not walk away from the deal

Novak Djokovic, 2022 Novak Djokovic, 2022 (© AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

Speaking to Serbian reporters in Paris on Friday, two days before the start of Roland-Garros, world No 1 Novak Djokovic said that he is grateful for the sponsors who have remained loyal to him throughout the last six turbulent months.

Amid his deportation from Australia and his unvaccinated status, there was much speculation regarding Djokovic’s sponsorship deals.

Recently, Djokovic and Peugeot did not continue to collaborate, and the technology firm UKG also decided not to renew the contract with the Serbian player.

Lacoste, Head and ASICS stayed with Djokovic

“There are things I cannot talk about before public statements are made,” Djokovic told reporters. “My main sponsors stayed with me and I am grateful for it, but some sponsors I no longer have. That is all that I can say, it is not my place to evaluate whether somebody should have stayed with me or left me”.

Once again, Djokovic reiterated that he is very happy about his biggest sponsors staying with him – Lacoste, Head, ASICS…

Maybe sometimes I go in-depth more than I should.

Novak Djokovic

“Particularly, Lacoste. We have been in regular contact, mostly Edoardo (Artaldi, one of Djokovic’s agents), but I have personally spoken with the head of Lacoste. They understood the whole situation, everything that was happening. As their global ambassador, I am important to them, but their position was not easy. They have told us that they have been under pressure from the media, from some clients that maybe weren’t happy with me staying with the company”, Djokovic commented before adding, “Challenges always present themselves, so to say, but I think they made a good choice and I am grateful. I will try to represent the Lacoste brand just like I did up until now, in the best possible way. After all, it is a brand with great tradition, one of the greatest in tennis, and I am proud to wear the crocodile on my shirt”.

Easy talks on sensitive topics

In the Serbian part of the press conference, Djokovic was also asked about his relationship with the media and the way he approaches press conferences.

“Sometimes I just want to do a quick presser, with standard, ordinary questions,” Djokovic laughed. “On the other hand, if there is a hot, interesting topic, I like to speak about it, although people in my team always warn me that I should speak less on sensitive topics”. 

“People are probably used to me making no bones about it, especially when it comes to justice in sports. Some things keep happening, so there are always interesting discussions in which I like to take the players’ side, which is logical, since I am also a player. Maybe sometimes I go in-depth more than I should”.

Djokovic is the defending champion at Roland Garros and he is due to face Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round. 

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