“As of 3:00 pm today” Nikolay Davydenko will be representin’ for Dunlop. From the press release:
World No.6 Davydenko signs with Dunlop
March 12th 2010 – Dunlop are delighted to announce their new partnership with Russian tennis ace, Nikolay Davydenko for rackets, clothing and accessories. The partnership will also see Davydenko endorse Dunlop’s junior talent identification programme – D-Squad. Currently ranked no.6 in the ATP rankings, the Russian has been rising in prominence over the past few years with some strong performances, culminating in his sensational ATP title in London, where he became only the second person to defeat both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament.
Commenting on his new partnership Davydenko said: “I am really proud to be a brand ambassador for Dunlop and pleased to be working with one of the most iconic brands in Tennis ”.
Barry Leach, MD of Dunlop Sport said: “We are delighted to announce Nikolay as a Dunlop brand ambassador and believe he is one of the most exciting talents in tennis today. He has had an incredible start to the year and we look forward to seeing his performances in the months to come”.
Davydenko will immediately commence testing of Dunlop’s new 2011 technology.
Interesting to hear Davydenko’s ditching his beloved Prince Ozone Pro Tour racket, the stick that he credited for most of his big wins. (Didn’t he play with the same exact racket for an entire tournament, once, winning the whole thing?) He had a deal with Prince from 2005 – 2008 and remained brand loyal even when it expired. Asked about playing without a contract after he won the 2009 year-ending championships, Kolya said:
“Doesn’t matter, [about] other racquets… for me it’s important how I play first, not about money, how much another company pay for me. Then I [risk] losing everything, out of Top 10.”
He also said: “Prince give everything to [Prince endorser Maria] Sharapova, and no money anymore.” (quotes via tennis.com)
Prince and Davydenko signed a temporary (it appears very temporary) deal during this year’s Australian Open. I guess the love’s gone and Kolya’s decided to move on. I hope it works out for him – a guy of his talent, work ethic and achievements deserves a real deal.