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Novak Djokovic’s lead sponsor to hold talks after Australian visa saga

Clothing giants Lacoste have said they wish to ‘review the events’ with Djokovic

Harry Latham-Coyle
Wednesday 19 January 2022 11:18
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Novak Djokovic arrives at Belgrade airport after being deported

Novak Djokovic is set for talks with one of his major sponsors after apparel giants Lacoste confirmed they would like to “review the events” that caused the Serbian to be deported from Australia.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had his visa revoked ahead of the Australian Open having been unable to meet federal coronavirus requirements to enter Australia.

Djokovic received a medical exemption to play as an unvaccinated player in Melbourne, but later admitted that incorrect information had been included on his immigration forms.

The 34-year-old failed in a final appeal against the government’s decision to remove his visa over the weekend and has now returned to Serbia.

And Lacoste, who have worked with the tennis star since 2017, say they now wish to have discussions with Djokovic about the affairs in Australia.

“As soon as possible, we will be in touch with Novak Djokovic to review the events that have accompanied his presence in Australia,” Lacoste said in a statement.

“We wish everyone an excellent tournament and thank the organizers for all their efforts to ensure that the tournament is held in good conditions for players, staff and spectators.”

Djokovic and Lacoste extended their partnership until 2025 last summer, with the French company saying it would “continue to listen to him and support him in his quest for new records”.

Other Djokovic sponsors, including Hublot, have indicated that they will continue their partnerships with the Serbian despite the saga.

The Swiss watchmakers told the Associated Press: “Novak Djokovic is his own person. We cannot comment on any of his personal decisions. Hublot will continue its partnership with the world number 1 tennis player.”

The nine-time Australian Open winner could also be unable to play in the French Open, the second of the year’s four major tennis championships.

The French government this week passed a law barring unvaccinated individuals from sporting events, with AFP reporting that this would extend to athletes.

That could leave Djokovic, who is not vaccinated at the moment, unable to defend his title at Roland Garros.

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