On the opening day of the prestigious US Open; the fourth Grand Slam tournament of 2011, Audemars Piguet revealed that the world’s number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is to be the latest brand Ambassador for the watch manufacturer.
Novak Djokovic, who is enjoying an exceptional 2011 season, is thereby proudly joining the brand’s illustrious team of ambassadors, which notably includes a number of famous sportsmen including Michael Schumacher, Leo Messi, LeBron James, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, and golfers Lee Westwood and Rory Mcllroy.
“Nole”, as he is nicknamed in tennis circles, first caught the public attention in 2006, particularly thanks to his surprising performance in the French Open, where he eliminated three seeds. The following year proved decisive to the career of the young Serb, who won five tournaments including the ATP Miami Masters, which propelled him to the rank of world number seven before his 20th birthday.
In 2008, he won the Australian Open and thus became the first Serbian player to win a Grand Slam tournament. In December 2010, Novak Djokovic won the equalizing point for Serbia, which won the Davis Cup for the first time in its history. In 2011, everything seems to be going the way of the 24 year-old athlete who has won 57 out of 59 matches on the eve of the US Open. He became world number one after winning his third Grand Slam title at Wimbledon on July 4th and has so far won nine tournaments in 2011, including the Australian Open and five Masters 1000.
A man of simple and modest tastes, Novak Djokovic is nonetheless a genuine aesthete with a particular penchant for the refinement of the timepieces made by the watchmaker from the Vallée de Joux. It was thus entirely logical for Audemars Piguet to set the seal on this friendship with the extraordinary player. It all began several months ago, when he paid a discreet visit to the watch company that is still in the hands of the founding families. During his visit, Djokovic expressed his admiration for the brand’s latest watches in glowing terms after visiting the workshops in Le Brassus, stating how he had been deeply impressed by “the beauty and the complexity of the movements” produced there. “I have discovered a new passion for fine watchmaking and I truly admire both the traditional and modern aspects of the work accomplished by Audemars Piguet”.
This admiration is mutual. Above and beyond his undeniable tennis playing abilities, Audemars Piguet appreciates the generosity and altruism demonstrated by Djokovic, who is involved in a number of charitable endeavours. In 2007, he founded the Novak Humanitarian Fund that operated on various fronts, including providing access to tennis courts and scholarships for young Serbians, donating ambulances to hospitals in Kosovska Mitrovica and Brus, and making a donation to the Gracanica monastery for the redemption of land parcels in Padaliste. The fund has recently narrowed its scope of activities and operates to provide emotional and programmatic support to children who have lost a parent. In Serbia, the foundation also seeks to promote access to education as well as educational development for all children. To aid in this, Djokovic has partnered with UNICEF Serbia.
In parallel, Djokovic takes part whenever he can in fundraising exhibition matches to support the reconstruction efforts for Haiti, Japan, as well as his home country of Serbia (the cities Loznica and Kraljevo.)
All of which makes it entirely natural for this bighearted individual and accomplished sportsman to be now officially joining the Audemars Piguet family.
“We are particularly honored by the friendship we enjoy with this great champion who expresses through his sport our own values of excellence and audacity,” says Brand CEO Philippe Merkstated. “We wish him a warm welcome and the best of luck for the rest of the season, which he has dominated so far, but the battle with his rivals isn’t over yet.”