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Sixteen-time Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer and his agent, Tony Godsick, have left IMG Worldwide Inc.
Contracts with both the former No. 1-ranked men’s player and Godsick ran out, IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher said yesterday in a telephone interview.
“Our contract with Roger Federer has expired and we no longer represent him,” Gallagher said. “Roger is an iconic figure in the world of sports, a gentleman and a great champion, and we hope to work with him again in the future.”
Federer, 30, of Switzerland, remains the top earner in tennis with nine endorsement deals, even without a major triumph since the 2010 Australian Open. Federer makes $52 million a year from prize money and endorsements from companies such as Nike Inc. (NKE), Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG and Swiss luxury watch brand Rolex, according to Forbes.
“I left them already, back when,” Federer said yesterday at a news conference in Paris after beating France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to move into the fourth round of the French Open. “This is not the first time. So obviously it’s the first day of the new month. Obviously this is when contracts sometimes do run out, and that’s been the situation in my case. And in Tony’s case, he didn’t renew. So we’ll see where it goes now.”
The third-ranked Federer was signed by IMG as a junior player in 1998. He quit the agency in early 2003, before he had any major championships, and handed his business matters to Roger Federer Management: an attorney, a financial adviser and his mother, Lynette. Miroslava Vavrinec, his girlfriend at the time and now his wife and mother of their twin daughters, was put in charge of media relations and travel. Federer, who won his first major title at Wimbledon in 2003, rejoined IMG in 2005.
When asked yesterday if Godsick was still representing him, Federer said: “Right now, I don’t think so.”
Gallagher said IMG wished Godsick “great success in the future.”
Godsick said in an interview at the players’ lounge at Roland Garros shortly before Federer’s match that his time with IMG was up.
“I left IMG last night, my contract ran out and I took the decision not to do a new contract, Godsick said. ‘‘That’s it.’’
Godsick’s departure comes about a year after Tiger Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg, left New York-based IMG and joined Excel Sports Management. Woods went with Steinberg.
Federer didn’t rule out a return to IMG, whose former chief executive officer, Ted Forstmann, died in November.
‘‘I was very close with Teddy Forstmann, who unfortunately passed away last year,” he said. “Obviously I had an emotional attachment to the company that way. He was the one who brought me back really, and so obviously when all of that happened, potentially it wasn’t helpful. I don’t know at this moment what’s going to happen next.”
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