Novak Djokovic has confessed on the eve of the French Open that his no-vaxx stance is hitting some of his sponsorships bigtime.
The stubborn Serb continues to refuse to join almost all of his tennis colleagues in getting the COVID jab which most first received well over a year ago.
The top seed when Roland Garros begins on Sunday told Serb journalists that he still has the backing of his major trio of commercial paymasters – HEAD racquets, French Lacoste clothing and Asics for shoes.
Djokovic was let go this spring by French carmaker Peugeot as well as tech firm UKG, but he refused to go into many details with his countrymen.
His reluctance to spill might foreshadow more bad news down the track:
“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,” the top seed said.
“That is all that I can say, it is not my place to evaluate whether somebody should have stayed with me or left me”.
Djokovic singled out Lacoste for particular praise.
“We have been in regular contact (through his agent) 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.
“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.”
Main photo:- Novak Djokovic lifts French Open trophy Coupe des Mousquetaires 2021 wearing his Lacoste branding – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd