Sponsor Lacoste wants to ‘review’ Australia events with tennis star

Lacoste said it wanted to review events that sparked a nearly two-week legal battle and prevented the unvaccinated Serbian from defending his Australian Open title.
Australia requires international visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a medical exemption.
Djokovic practises in a Lacoste T-shirt before being deported from Australia. (AP)

“As soon as possible, we will be in touch with Novak Djokovic to review the events that have accompanied his presence in Australia,” the French clothing brand said in a statement.

“We wish everyone an excellent tournament and thank the organisers for all their efforts to ensure that the tournament is held in good conditions for players, staff and spectators.”

French automaker Peugeot, another Djokovic sponsor now owned by Stellantis, declined to comment on Monday. Swiss watchmaker Hublot and Japanese sportswear giant Asics did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Djokovic has endorsement deals worth $30 million a year, according to Forbes, and was the world’s 46th highest-paid athlete in 2021.
Djokovic wearing a Lacoste jumper on the plane from Dubai to Belgrade. (AP)

The world No. 1 had been scheduled to play on Monday night in Melbourne, where he had hoped to win a record-breaking 21st men’s grand slam title.

In a statement, Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision.

“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love,” the statement added.

Lacoste was founded in 1933 by seven-time grand slam winner René Lacoste and entrepreneur André Gillier.

The brand became famous for its lightweight cotton polo shirts bearing the logo of a crocodile — a nickname given to Lacoste during his playing days.

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