Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Ivanovic Signs With Rolex

Anna Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic hasn't won a grand slam event since I anointed her the new "Ana" of tennis last June.

But now that she's No. 2 in the world and is charging through the French Open--she's through to the fourth round after her victory today--it's time to mention her again.

Her agent Gavin Versi confirmed to us that Ana has now signed with Rolex,which of course likes to spend its money in tennis. The Geneva-based watch company will use her in advertising, like it has with other tennis icons Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

"As we all know, Rolex is one of the leading brands in the world," said Versi, a director of DH Management, the company that represents Ivanovic. "That they have placed their faith in Ana says a lot about where she is going. It's a great honor for Ana to have been invited to partner with such a prestigious brand."

Versi declined to comment on the size of the deal.

Ivanovic, like the other players, likely won't wear the watch while playing, but could wear it to the court and will certainly wear it during social situations. Here's a bet; she'll get more buzz for Rolex than Federer and Roddick combined doing that.

I'm still surprised that Ivanovic is still open in a variety of sponsorship categories. She's gorgeous and she's a top ranked player who could be on the cusp of greatness. Her clothing and shoes are sponsored by adidas. Her racket by Yonex. She endorses Peugeot cars and takes Juice Plus, a vitamin supplement founded by her manager, Dan Holzmann.

Rolex is the official watch sponsor of two of the Grand Slams, the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Maria Sharapova, the world's No. 1 women's tennis player, wears a competing watch brand, Tag Heuer.

With Serena Williams losing today, Ivanovic's bracket just got easier. The 20-year-old Serbian still would have to beat fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic to get to the finals. Ivanovic is an impressive 6-1 against Jankovic, last beating her in the semis of the Pacific Life Open.

Questions?  Comments?