Evidently my complete world has been following the Australian Open tennis saga during the last couple of weeks – even individuals who usually don’t observe tennis. In order the primary Grand Slam of the tennis calendar 2022 will get underway this week, I’d prefer to briefly study Novak Djokovic as he pertains to our watch world.
The earlier Seiko ambassador – who went to the Japanese large from Audemars Piguet – signed up with Hublot final 12 months, an announcement the Nyon-based model made in late August 2021. Djokovic had been a Seiko ambassador since 2014, with the renewed contract between the world-class athlete and the world-class watch model operating out on the finish of 2020.
I don’t know why Djokovic and Seiko didn’t proceed collectively because it appeared to work on many ranges from my perspective. The transfer to Hublot was stunning to me, although, as Hublot’s LVMH sister model TAG Heuer is making some severe strikes into tennis – together with a partnership with Naomi Osaka, which was introduced presently final 12 months – regardless of Rolex’s dominance of the game when it comes to advertising and marketing and ambassadorships. My esteemed “tennis and timepieces” colleague and expensive buddy Miguel Seabra instructed me that TAG Heuer’s newfound love of the white sport has so much to do with its younger CEO’s love for it.
Whereas Hublot has undoubtedly already had a toe in tennis waters, with partnerships with Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, and Borna Ćorić, and Wimbledon 2019 girls’s champion Simona Halep, the model appears to be going all in with the acquisition of 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic, Coronavirus, and the Australian Open 2022
However now Djokovic, a controversial determine in tennis due primarily to his mood and questionable conduct within the COVID period, has made a severe misstep leading to a ten-day authorized course of in Australia over whether or not he would be capable to keep for the match he has received the final three years operating – three out of 9 Australian Open titles of his profession – and, lastly, deportation.
Djokovic is an anti-vaxxer, which might make worldwide journey for any mere mortal tough (if not unattainable). Nonetheless, regardless of the Australian Open’s management saying that contributors have to be totally vaccinated, it made an exemption for Djokovic, a choice, solely later revealed to the general public, that was primarily based on Djokovic’s “current Coronavirus an infection.”
Arriving in Melbourne on January 5, 2022, from Spain, Djokovic was detained and questioned by Australian federal officers on the airport earlier than being despatched to a quarantine resort. Apparently in Victoria, Australia, a earlier coronavirus an infection is just not legitimate for vaccination exemption.
Djokovic appealed the choice, and an Australian decide reinstated his visa 5 days later. Documentation introduced throughout these authorized proceedings confirmed that he examined optimistic for a Coronavirus an infection on December 16, 2021, in Belgrade, Serbia. Social media postings nonetheless confirmed that he had attended two public occasions on the identical day and one other the following day, the place he introduced awards to kids. A French reporter with L’Equipe got here ahead to elucidate that he had carried out an interview with the tennis participant on December 18 and was not knowledgeable of the optimistic testing.
Voices within the media – and in all places else – definitely then received loud about whether or not Djokovic had falsified info on his entry type to Australia. Both approach, there was no approach out of this for Djokovic with out significantly damaging his fame and endangering sponsorship contracts. Djokovic acknowledged errors and made excuses.
Australia’s immigration minister lastly revoked Djokovic’s visa on Friday, January 14, three days earlier than the Australian Open was resulting from begin. On Sunday, January 16, he was deported, quashing his quest for a report twenty-first Grand Slam title – at present he’s tied at 20 with each Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – and a tenth Australian Open title. The chance exists that Djokovic could possibly be barred from coming into Australia for the following three years in keeping with the nation’s legal guidelines on visa cancellations. Seeing as the present world primary is already 34 years outdated, that may make any extra bids for a Grand Slam title throughout his energetic profession fairly a bit harder.
Djokovic’s future may be difficult as I may think about different nations presumably following go well with if he doesn’t get vaccinated. And if he doesn’t clear up his act he will likely be risking sponsorship contracts. See Maria Sharapova’s launch from her contract with Hublot LVMH sibling TAG Heuer in November 2016 following the doping scandal that compelled her to take a one-year break from tennis (which she by no means fairly recovered from).
It is going to be attention-grabbing to see what – if something – Hublot does within the wake of what I imagine is scandalous, untrustworthy conduct.
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