It continues to confuse tennis fans why Hsieh Su-Wei doesn’t have a clothing sponsor, but it has positive sides — the most successful tennis player from Chinese Taipei serves as a rare example of a high-ranking athlete not being owned by the corporate world. Moreover, her free status goes well with her positive and likable personality, as she simply focuses on the sport she loves to play and doesn’t waste her precious energy on negotiations and meetings.
Hsieh’s weird apparel situation again attracted attention at the US Open, as the world No.28 advanced to the second round in yet another outfit that combines different logos.
While other tennis stars promote new collections every few weeks, Hsieh doesn’t bother wearing clothes she’s owned for years, as David Kane quoted her on Twitter:
I’ve had this outfit since a couple years ago. I really love the Ralph Lauren stuff here. Sometimes my dresses shrink in the dryer, so I’m running out of match wear. I didn’t see anything else I like, so I wore my US Open outfit!
Further explaining the situation, David Kane added:
Hsieh shrugged off suggestions she seek a clothing sponsor, saying the market in her home country is too small for a contract, and international contracts require negotiations she’d rather not waste “tennis time” hashing out.
Also on the first day of the US Open, WTA’s senior writer Courtney Nguyen tweeted:
Hsieh Su-Wei is wearing a frayed af US Open branded visor.
That wouldn’t be mind-boggling if Hsieh’s biography didn’t include a Top 25 WTA singles ranking, No.1 doubles ranking, 3 WTA singles titles, 3 Grand Slam doubles titles, and a win over world No.1 Simona Halep at last year’s Wimbledon.
So why doesn’t Hsieh have a clothing sponsor?
There are several theories, mostly having to do with politics, so it’s quite complicated:
- Her country’s athletes tend to get sponsors through government and companies close to the government, while Hsieh doesn’t have good relations with the Chinese Taipei Tennis Association;
- Sports clothing giants don’t want to risk their lucrative opportunities in the Chinese market;
- Hsieh doesn’t refrain from voicing controversial opinions, which sponsors can view as bad PR.
Are there any reasons that you know about? Tell us in the comments!
As my photographer Jimmie48 and many others have commented, Hsieh’s lack of clothing sponsors has made her a tennis fashion queen of her own kind. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are style icons with their custom-made Nike apparel, while the 33-year-old Hsieh is a different sort of fashion leader in the top of the WTA world, free to mix and match various brands, not worried about complying with the rules of big corporations.