Djokovic surpasses Kyrgios for 7th Wimbledon title but new sponsors likely to shun controversial champion – Sportico.com

Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios in four sets on Sunday to win his seventh Wimbledon title, one behind Roger Federer for the All England Club men’s record. The win was also his 21st major, breaking a tie with Federer and putting him one behind Rafael Nadal for the men’s all-time record.

The Wimbledon final offered the full Kyrgios experience and combined it stunningly tennis with outbursts aimed at the fans, his player’s box and the referee – look for a “700 drinks, brother”Shirt available soon. The Australian’s best placement so far in a Grand Slam was the quarter-finals (2015 Australian Open, 2014 Wimbledon). He competed at this year’s Wimbledon ranked No. 40 in the world and will net a career-high $1.26 million for the win, taking his career purse to $11.2 million.

Djokovic earns $2.4 million for the title, extending his record-breaking career total to $159 million, $28 million ahead of Nadal. Kyrgios had won each of his two previous meetings, both in 2017.

The win saves a rocky 2022 for the Serbian tennis ace, who was expelled from Australia ahead of the Australian Open in January when his medical exemption visa was annulled. He will likely be barred from competing in the US Open unless he receives a COVID-19 vaccine or the US changes its policy regarding entry of unvaccinated non-citizens.

Sponsors have started backing away from Djokovic despite his chance to go down as the greatest player in the sport’s history. Both UKG and Peugeot ended valuable ‘patch’ sponsorships this year which attracted massive attention at marquee matches such as Grand Slam finals for each brand. His Peugeot deal started in 2014, UKG signed Djokovic in 2019.

“The sponsorship contract was due to expire this year and we mutually agreed that there would be no extension,” said a UKG spokesman said in an email in May. Compare that to Federer, who hasn’t played in over a year but still maintains the arsenal of sponsorships that have reportedly made him the highest-paid tennis player in the world at $85.7 million Sportico estimates. Djokovic finished fifth with $28.2 million, including $20 million off the court.

Don’t expect sponsors to suddenly flock to Djokovic. Unless his vaccination status or U.S. policy changes, he won’t be playing in the United States anytime soon, and his next chance at another Major may not come until the 2023 French Open.

“Any Grand Slam momentum will be lost if we don’t play a major again before the French Open,” said Bob Dorfman, creative director at Pinnacle Advertising, in an email.

Lacoste remains Djokovic’s most valuable endorsement partner in a pact worth up to $10 million a year, including bonuses for a big year on the court. His other remaining sponsors are Head, Asics, Hublot and Raiffeisen Bank.

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