SBD/July 18, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Yonex Ends Caroline Wozniacki Sponsorship After She Uses Blacked-Out Racquets

Yonex was upset at Wozniacki for playing with a Babolat racquet this spring
Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is "no longer under contract with Yonex," according to Matt Cronin of TENNIS.com. A report in Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet stated that Yonex was "upset with Wozniacki for playing with a blacked-out racquet this spring and negated their contract." The racquet was "presumed to be a Babolat, as she once played with one before." Wozniacki's reps indicated that "no new deal has been struck with another racquet company" (TENNIS.com, 7/16). TENNIS WORLD USA's Federico Coppini noted Wozniacki, the former top-ranked player in the world, "enjoyed her best results using a Babolat racquet," but she "stands to lose a lot of money from the Yonex contract." Wozniacki is currently ranked No. 10 and "will not find it easy to get a similar contract elsewhere" (TENNISWORLDUSA.org, 7/17). Wozniacki signed with Yonex in '11 (THE DAILY).

GETTING A BIG HEAD: USA TODAY's Chris Chase noted Roger Federer earlier this week confirmed he would switch from his "classic 90 square-inch racket head ... to a 98 square-inch racket head." He has been "practicing with a blacked out racket before this week's tournament in Hamburg." It is a "massive change" for Federer, but it "puts him in line with most of the ATP Tour" (USATODAY.com, 7/16). TENNIS.com's Jon Levey noted the "assumption is that Federer has switched to the Blade 98." Wilson, Federer's racquet sponsor, "would only comment that Federer will be using a blacked-out frame to start his Hamburg run." It is "conceivable, although unlikely, that Wilson would roll out an entirely new frame mid-season" (TENNIS.com, 7/16).
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