World No. 1 Halep Playing Aussie Open Sans Apparel Sponsor After Adidas Deal Expires
The clothing Simona Halep is wearing during the Australian Open was "purchased online" prior to the tournament, as the world No. 1-ranked player "does not have a sponsor" for apparel, according to Tennis Channel's Jon Wertheim. Tennis Channel's Brett Haber noted Halep "did not come to terms with Adidas at the end of the year" when her contract expired. No visible logos could be seen on Halep's clothes during her first-round win against Destanee Aiava ("Tennis Channel Live," 1/16). FOOTWEAR NEWS' Jennie Bell noted Halep's lack of a sponsor "opens up an excellent opportunity for other brands in the tennis space." The "most likely candidate" to snap up Halep is Nike, as it has the "biggest pockets and the strongest reputation in the sport." The company also is "in need of a new female ambassador" with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova on the back-end of their careers. The 26-year-old Halep "would offer a fresh young face around which to build its tennis business for years to come." Wilson is Halep's partner "for rackets and gear" (FOOTWEARNEWS.com, 1/13).