Dunlop Signs Promising Tennis Trio
Dunlop has signed teenage tennis stars Gastao Elias, Xander Spong and Tiago Fernandes on endorsement agreements to provide them with Dunlop tennis equipment. These three youngsters are now members of the growing Dunlop D Squad programme, a scheme that aims to attract top tennis players worldwide at a junior level, and identify talent for future international player sponsorships with the Dunlop Brand.
Portuguese-born Gastao Elias has already won several awards in his career so far, most notably last year, winning the inaugural Gillete Future Champion Award presented to Portugal’s best young male athlete. The 17-year-old is also the youngest player in Portuguese history to win a professional tennis event, winning the Men’s Futures Event in Mexico in 2007 at just 16.
18-year-old Xander Spong is currently ranked 60th in the combined ITF Junior rankings, and won Young Sportsman of the Year at the Haag Sportgala in 2006. In the same year, Spong was the Under 16 World Team Champion for Holland.
The third signing is 15-year-old Brazilian Tiago Fernandes, the youngest of the new additions to the Dunlop stable of players. His achievements include winning the Rhein Energie Tennis Cup in August 2007 and the Eddie Herr tournament in the Under 14 category in December 2007. Fernandes ended the year ranked as number one in South America for the Under 14 age group (COSAT ranking).
Robin Gibson, Dunlop’s Head of Marketing said: “We are delighted to have signed these talented young players, as we consider them all to have very bright futures in the game. We believe that investing in potential talent is a priority and aim to do all we can to help these athletes achieve considerable success in their careers.”