Tennis No. 1 Djokovic Splits With Sponsor Sergio Tacchini

Sergio Tacchini International, whose clothes have been worn by tennis champions such as John McEnroe, parted ways with Novak Djokovic because the No. 1 men’s player has “outgrown” the brand.

“It has been mutually and amicably decided that, as of the 2012 Roland Garros Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic will no longer be the brand ambassador,” the Novara, northern Italy-based manufacturer said in an e-mailed statement today.

Djokovic is the reigning Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open champion. The Serb rose to the top spot in the men’s rankings last July after he won his first Wimbledon title. The French Open, which he’s never won, starts May 27 in Paris.

In November 2009, when ranked third, Djokovic signed with Sergio Tacchini and ended his link-up with Adidas AG (ADS), the world’s second-biggest sporting goods maker. Two weeks prior to that announcement, Adidas said it signed fourth-ranked Andy Murray of Britain on a “long-term contract.” Murray is still ranked No. 4 and has yet to win a major.

Sergio Tacchini clothing has also been worn by former Grand Slam winners Pete Sampras, Gabriela Sabatini and Martina Hingis.

Since he signed with the brand, Djokovic “has grown professionally, climbing from third to first place in the world ATP ranking,” Sergio Tacchini International said.

It described him as having “outgrown the Italian brand that, although it is losing such a precious spokesperson, is offering Djokovic the opportunity to take on new challenges and new sponsors.”

The company cited Djokovic as saying “Sergio Tacchini is a company with great tennis tradition and it supported many tennis champions.”

A spokesman for Djokovic wasn’t immediately available to comment on the company statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh in London at drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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