Simona Halep is the No. 1 player on the WTA Tour.
She was voted Fan Favorite on Friday for the first time.
But as of right now, industry sources tell Tennis.Life the 26-year-old Romanian doesn’t have a clothing sponsor for 2018.
Unless something gets done at the very last minute, Halep and adidas are parting ways at what is approaching the peak of Halep’s career. She goes into 2018 one of the favorites to pull off a Grand Slam title for the first time.
Manager Virginia Ruzici responded to a request for comment from Tennis.Life about adidas not renewing Halep’s deal.
She didn’t confirm it. Nor did she claim it inaccurate.
“No comment” Ruzici wrote via e-mail, adding she would be in touch when she had something to add.
Halep joined the adidas family in April, 2014, premiering the clothes at a Fed Cup tie between Romania and Serbia.
Until then, she had been sponsored by Lacoste. But she left them mid-season although reportedly on good terms.
Tennis.Life was told that the biggest issue was bad timing, and a gap in the evaluations from both sides of Halep’s worth.
The Romanian’s representatives (mentor Ion Tiriac is believed to be involved on that side) had a number in mind, commensurate with their player’s new status as the top-ranked player in the world.
The adidas offer didn’t reflect the same reality. Nothing original there; that’s basically every negotiation, ever.
But when they came back without having found much greener grass elsewhere, the German company already had allocated its 2018 sponsorship budget.
Halep is still training in adidas gear, although nothing she didn’t already have. Whether or not that’s significant will be revealed soon enough.
Where this leaves her for 2018 is unclear.
We’ll have to see what Halep shows up in when she arrives in Shenzhen in two weeks, to begin her campaign – or perhaps even in Thailand, where she’s scheduled for an exhibition Dec. 23-24. Halep has entered the doubles in Shenzhen with countrywoman Irina-Camelia Begu.
Who knows? The two sides might be able to work out some sort of last-minute, bonus-based deal for the season. All options are on the table at this point. The challenge, at this late stage, is that every other company has already spent its 2018 budget, too.
Halep’s wardrobe changes
However it turns out, it won’t be the first kit change for Halep during her career.
Here are a few different looks she’s had since 2010.