Another busy WTA season is behind us and loyal readers of Women’s Tennis Blog know that we’re entering the period of my so called Fashion Retrospections, i.e. my overviews of all the outfits top players wore during the year. This 2018 off-season I’ll start with world No.1 Simona Halep, partly because of her top ranking and partly because this was a major year in terms of the Romanian’s on-court fashion, as she abandoned Adidas and started wearing Nike in February.
The apparel transition period was far from smooth for Halep, as she opened the year without a clothing sponsor, wearing a red outfit she ordered last-minute online from a seamstress in China. Halep’s fashion ride was bumpy early into the season, but her tennis did all the talking as she won the Shenzhen Open in both singles and doubles and followed it up with a run to the Australian Open final.
From Halep’s pre-Australian Open interview:
Yeah, I sent a picture. Was a site, in China actually, and one of my managers helped me, and in 24 hours I had the outfit, and were perfect (smiling). I was lucky. I (found them) on Internet. Everything is on Internet now (smiling). I was a little bit stressed. I chose the model. But it’s plain, come on. Nothing special there. It looks good, in my opinion. I like it.
At the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Halep finally sealed a clothing sponsorship deal and her first Nike ensemble was the NikeCourt Zonal Cooling Top + Dri-FIT Ace Shorts in pale pink with black side stripes and engineered mesh zones.
At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Halep debuted a classic racerback Nike Summer Slam Tank and an all-around pleated Nike Summer Victory Skirt featuring contrast trim at bottom hem, a silhouette that fits most body types and never goes out of style.
Both the tank and the skirt are available in a variety of colors, but Halep opted for more neutral tones. In Madrid and Rome, she paired the pale tank with a solid black version of the lightweight woven skirt.
The 27-year-old finally crowned her career with a Grand Slam title at the 2018 French Open and she looked stunning in her Nike blues during the fortnight in Paris. Nike’s idea was to pick one color that would perfectly match the orange clay and to go all the way with it. Since details were not in color contrasts, Nike made the Roland Garros designs stand out with textures.
Halep’s three-dimensional neo turq ensemble included the Nike Summer Zonal Cool Slam Tank and Nike Summer Zonal Cool Smash Skirt. For warm-ups and her trophy shoot, the Romanian from Constanta put on the Nike Summer Tennis Hoodie that features zippers at the side.
One can never go wrong with a pleated skirt and gold details are always a perfect choice for Wimbledon, so Halep opted for sleek white separates — the Nike Fall Slam Seamless Tank and Nike Fall Victory Skirt — featuring gold Swoosh as accent.
In Cincinnati, the winner of 18 WTA titles combined the neptune green tank with a basic white skirt.
A large side slit and wide narrow cutout at back characterized the world No.1’s NikeCourt Fall Slam Dress at the US Open. The vibrantly printed Nike Fall Power 5″ Shorts are sold separately, but they are an integral part of this look, as the dress looks more like a tunic and the shorts are absolutely exposed.
Halep’s last outfit in 2018 was a wonderful combination of powdery pink and vibrant orange, brought together by green exposed elastic waistband of the Nike Fall Victory Skirt. Because her season was cut short by a back injury, we haven’t seen Nike’s winter collection on Halep, but I’ll feature it in a fashion overview of some other Nike player.
Now that you’ve seen all Halep’s Nike 2018 outfits in one place, what do you think, was she better off with Adidas, or is Nike a better match? To help you decide, jump to my 2017 overview of her Adidas outfits and then come back here to tell me your thoughts. I’m always leaning towards Adidas in this battle of sports fashion giants.