Rafael Nadal's deal with Nike is said to be worth ten million dollars per year. | Twitter: Rafael Nadal


Lacoste CEO Thierry Guibert has responded to comments by Nike's former head of tennis, Mike Nakajima, by saying that his company would "never" choose Rafael Nadal to be its ambassador.

In Simon Cambers and Simon Graf’s recently published book, The Roger Federer Effect, Nakajima argues that Novak Djokovic is under a black cloud that he has created for himself. "Djokovic could well be the most successful tennis player ever. But there’s always a dark cloud around him. It’s like he brings it upon himself."

Nadal is sponsored by Nike, Nakajima having said to CNN: "He (Djokovic) hits the lineswoman at the US Open (in 2020) and gets disqualified? It happens, I guess. But why does it always happen to Novak? Or the whole controversy about the Covid-19 vaccination. Now, as a brand - do I want to be behind somebody who always has controversy around him? Or do I want to go with an athlete with a squeaky clean image?"

Djokovic signed his first deal with Lacoste in spring 2017, Guibert saying that "Lacoste is so proud to have Nole and would never choose Nadal (with all due respect to him)".