Lacoste CEO Thierry Guibert has come to the defense of Novak Djokovic, revealing that the French clothing brand would "never choose Rafael Nadal" to be its ambassador. This week, Mike Nakajima -former director of tennis at Nike- told CNN that "there is always a dark blanket around Djokovic" and that is something that the big brands do not want to see.
In the spring of 2017, Djokovic signed his first deal with Lacoste. "Lacoste is very proud to have Nole and would never choose Nadal (with all due respect to him). Thank you @NDjokofan for the English translation," Lacoste CEO Guibert tweeted.
Earlier this week, former Nike tennis director Nakajima's comments about Djokovic went viral. "He could well be the most successful tennis player in history. But there is always a black cloud around him. It's like he brought it on himself.
He Hits the linesman at the US Open (in 2020) and he gets disqualified? These are things that happen, I suppose. But why does he always pass Novak? Or all the controversy over the Covid-19 vaccine. Now, as a brand: do I want to be behind someone who always has controversy around them? Or do I prefer an athlete with a flawless image?" Nakajima told CNN.
Djokovic himself has not reacted to Nakajima's comments. Meanwhile, Djokovic has started the 2023 season in an outstanding way. After winning two consecutive titles, the Adelaide International and the Australian Open, Djokovic is resting.
Djokovic, who was hampered by a hip injury in Australia, is booked to compete in Dubai later this week. The latest reports suggest that Djokovic will be able to compete in Dubai. In addition, Djokovic has requested a special permit to enter the United States for the Indian Wells and Miami Masters.
Borg praises Djokovic
Bjorn Borg conveyed his best wishes to Novak Djokovic for his future endeavors. "Djokovic is fit and he's eager to play. He has three to five more very good years of tennis in him. He wants to break all the records and set new records.
I think he'll win a few more Grand Slams. I wish him the best," he said. "We used to spend five or six hours a day practicing. At the Laver Cup, they used to open the courts at 6 am because Rafa would just serve for an hour before he actually started practice," Borg said.
"I have never seen a player spend so much time on a tennis court. He's one of the greats; he commits so much time to his game. It's unbelievable."