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Roger Federer signing a coup for Uniqlo

When Roger Federer, widely considered the best tennis player in history, stepped on to court for his first match at the 2018 Wimbledon championships in southwest London on July 2, there was one notable difference in his appearance.

Viewers at tennis tournaments around the world and those following along on television or online have become accustomed to seeing the tennis legend in kit bearing Nike’s recognisable ‘Swoosh’ logo but this year Mr Federer is wearing clothing from Japanese brand Uniqlo.

Uniqlo has confirmed via a press release that is has agreed a new partnership with the Swiss athlete. It said he will wear the brand’s products at all tennis tournaments, starting at Wimbledon.

Commenting on the announcement, Tadashi Yanai, UNIQLO Founder and Chairman, said: “Mr Federer is one of the greatest champions in history; my respect for him goes beyond sport. Our partnership will be about innovation on and off court. UNIQLO will help Mr Federer continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him.”

The company has revealed that Mr Federer’s Wimbledon kit was designed at its research and development centre in Paris. It features Dry Ex material, which Uniqlo jointly developed with Japanese textile manufacturer Toray Industries. The material features a special arched structure which the partners have said dries faster than other functional materials. The kit also has a highly breathable mesh in areas that accumulate sweat to help the athlete avoid overheating.

Mr Federer’s new partnership with Uniqlo brings to an end his association with Nike, which dates back to 1994. Interestingly, during his match on July 2 he was still wearing Nike shoes. This is expected to continue, at least for now, as Uniqlo does not make tennis shoes.

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