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As Djokovic Becomes The Best, Sergio Tacchini Drops The Ball
CNBC.com | September 13, 2011 | 04:58 PM EDT

In November 2009, classic tennis brand Sergio Tacchini signed Novak Djokovic to a 10-year sponsorship deal.

It was an incredible coup for the brand which filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and was bought by Chinese businessman Billy Ngok in 2008 for $42 million.

The story got even better as Djokovic rose to No. 1 in the world and won three of four Grand Slams in 2011, including the US Open on Monday.

“I am really honored to be a part of that brand who had a lot of No. 1’s and to be able to revive the brand," Djokovic told CNBC before the US Open. To be able to become No. 1 with Tacchini, with the tennis brand, is even a bigger pleasure."

But the tale isn't as positive as it should be for Sergio Tacchini. Although terms of Djokovic's deal aren't clear, insiders say the company is likely going to have a hard time paying off his multi-million bonuses this year. Why? Because the brand is barely eeking out a profit and its production and distribution have hurt its ability to capitalize on the 24-year-old Serb's great run.

While Nike and Adidas have had the gear being worn by their players in the US Open in stores for at least a month, Sergio Tacchini doesn't even have its Djokovic US Open designs in stores yet.

It's expected in the last week of this month or even into October.

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