She’s currently world number-one in women’s tennis and on Saturday night she’s competing for the Australian Open title, but Romanian champion Simona Halep doesn’t have any sponsorship to her name.
In an unbelievable turn of events, there will be no Adidas stripes on Halep’s socks, no Nike tick on her fluorescent skirt, as the 26-year-old walks out onto the court to face Danish Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday night.
Despite the fact she’s been in the number-one spot for the last 16 weeks, News Corp reports, and won 16 career titles in total, her red dress has been without logos.
And in a tournament that is televised around the world, this is simply unheard of.
So, why? According to Tennis Life, it’s a negotiating issue.
Halep had been sponsored by Adidas for four years, but the agreement ended at the beginning of this year. The Romanian’s agents wanted more money, considering Halep’s recent success, and Adidas declined.
Things worsened when her team went to find sponsorship elsewhere, with no luck, and returned to Adidas to discover the label’s sponsorship budget had been used.
Speaking to the media at the Open, Halep said, News Corp reports: “My people are working for me on this stuff. They are talking. But the conversation has just begun. I have no contract now. I’m still with no brand clothes.”
“I just want to make sure that I will choose what I like — and also the brand to like me. It’s really important to have a nice outfit and to feel good in the clothes. So I’m not rushing.”
Jelena Dokic is unbreakable.
In the meantime, the she has been wearing a red dress she ordered from a seamstress in China. Oh, and an Australian Open visor, which anyone can buy from the gift shop.
“It looks good, in my opinion. I like it,” she told reporters.
The internet, of course, is in fits about this no-frills approach to an Australian Open finale. And we’re sure there are apparel stores everywhere absolutely kicking themselves. Because quite frankly, it’s their loss.
It’s absolutely crazy @Simona_Halep doesn’t have a sponsor. I can’t believe Adidas had the nerve to tell a World No 1 and an Aus Open finalist their sponsorship budget for the year was ‘over’.
— Sumedh Natu (@sumedhnatu) January 25, 2018