Tennis: Game, set, cash – Djokovic’s Australian saga gives sponsors headaches

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MELBOURNE (AFP) – Novak Djokovic’s murderous Australian saga has not only stalled his efforts for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam, but could also force his multimillion-dollar backers to rethink their relationship with one of the world’s greatest champions. tennis, even if it is imperfect.

The 34-year-old world no.

Off the court, the numbers are just as staggering.

In 2021 alone, his endorsement deals grossed some $30 million, according to figures from Forbes magazine.

Its place on the rich list was secured by deals struck by various companies, including Japanese sports equipment maker Asics to French automaker Peugeot.

Djokovic’s Lacoste contract was his most lucrative, valued at around $9 million by several US outlets.

However, this income still lags behind its contemporaries.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams, who both turned 40 in 2021, took in $90 million and $40 million, respectively. Japanese Naomi Osaka attracted $55 million.

Some pundits believe Djokovic’s fiery temper and notorious missteps – he was disqualified from the 2020 US Open for accidentally shooting an official in the throat – count against him.

“There’s this feeling that maybe he’s not as likable as Federer or Rafael Nadal,” said Patrick Rishe, professor of sports economics at Washington University in the US city of St. Louis. .

Although he is involved in several charities and respected by most of his peers, Djokovic’s professional determination and his position on the vaccination against Covid-19 have caused splits.

“Dull Image”

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