A ROGER FEDERER statement has been issued seconds after he walked out on court at Wimbledon to defend his title.
Federer, 36, took to the court wearing UNIQLO clothes - ditching his long-running agreement with Nike.
There had been weeks of speculation over whether he would switch sponsors and confirmation came at 1.08pm today.
A statement released by UNIQLO, stategically e-mailed to the media just as Federer appeared, read: "UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, announces today a partnership with Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all-time and one of the world's most influential and universally admired people, as its newest Global Brand Ambassador.
"The new partnership means that Mr Federer will represent UNIQLO at all tennis tournaments throughout the year, starting with The Championships, Wimbledon 2018.
"UNIQLO enters the partnership inspired by the past accomplishments of Mr Federer and his previous partners. While respectful of new standards they set together, UNIQLO is not a sports company.
"UNIQLO describes itself as a life company that creates LifeWear, thoughtful every apparel with a practical sense of beauty, and constantly improved through craftsmanship and technology.
With today's announcement, LifeWear has a new champion."
Roger Federer has been announced as joining UNIQLO
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. We share a goal of making positive change in the world, and I hope together we can bring the highest quality of life to the greatest number of people. 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."
While Federer added: "I am deeply committed to tennis and to winning Championships. But like UNIQLO, I also have a great love for life, culture and humanity.
"We share a strong passion to have a positive impact on the world around us and looking forward to combining our creative endeavours."
FEDERER'S GRAND SLAM VICTORIES
Australian Open - six titles (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)
By reaching his seventh final at Melbourne Park, Federer set a new Open era record at the tournament, and his triumph saw him equal Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson's six titles. He won his second slam title in Melbourne in 2004 with victory over Marat Safin, while last year's unexpected triumph was arguably the greatest of his career. His only final defeat came against Nadal in 2009, and he staved off Cilic's threat with a clinical final set on Sunday.
French Open - one title (2009)
Another of Federer's favourite titles came nine years ago when he finally lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros. It was Federer's fourth consecutive final and he had lost the previous three to Nadal. Robin Soderling stunned Nadal in the fourth round in 2009 and Federer defeated the Swede in the final.
Wimbledon - eight titles (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)
When he finally retires, Wimbledon will be the grand slam most synonymous with Federer. He won his first title in 2003 against Mark Philippoussis and did not lose a match at SW17 until the extraordinary final against Nadal in 2008. After defeating Andy Roddick in a marathon in 2009 and Andy Murray in 2012, victory over Cilic last summer made Federer the first man ever to win eight titles.
US Open - five titles (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
It is nearly a decade since Federer won the last of his five successive titles in New York with victory over Murray in 2008. He had previously beaten Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic in his finals. Federer also made the final at Flushing Meadows in 2009 and 2015, losing to Juan Martin del Potro and Djokovic, respectively.