Novak Djokovic has ended his relationship with Sergio Tacchini, the Italian sportswear company that dressed him in clothes with tattooed wings, dragons and stripes ... lots and lots of stripes. CNBC's Darren Rovell reports that the company couldn't keep up with the success of the world No. 1 after signing him to an incentive-laden 10-year deal in 2009.
One insider tells CNBC that there were constant fights between the Tacchini reps in Italy and the United States. Those battles were centered around disagreements over money owed by distributors, priority given to European stores on shipments, and suggested prices that priced out much of the marketplace. Tacchini polo shirts often retailed for $80, $20 more than a Nike tennis shirt of a similar make.
The world No. 1 being dressed in Sergio Tacchini was the equivalent of 2001 Britney Spears signing a deal with RC Cola. It never felt right. Peyton Manning endorses Oreos, not Hydrox, you know?
In memory of their glorious three years together, Busted Racquet remembers some of our favorite Sergio kits. May you fly even higher with your new dragon wings, Nole:
Djokovic reportedly signed a new deal with Uniqlo, a Japanese retail brand that competes with Sweden-based H&M. A New York-based friend reports that Uniqlo has three Manhattan stores, positions itself as a trendier J. Crew and sells a mean trenchcoat. Judging by these pictures, we're desperately hoping Uniqlo throws in a hair stylist to the Djokovic deal.