Maria Sharapova, a frontrunner to defend her championship title at this year’s French Open, saw her streak come to an end earlier today. Sharapova had reached the tournament final three consecutive years, but fell short Monday after losing to the No. 13 seed, Lucie Safarove, in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4.
Hopes had been high for Sharapova, a longtime Nike-sponsored athlete. Before the tournament, the tennis – and marketing — star had partnered with Parisian retailer Colette on two styles. The looks, NikeCourt Zoom Vapor 9 Tour x Colette and the NikeCourt Tennis Classic x Colette, hit stores on May 21.
The second-seed, who won in Paris last year and in 2012, lost in a pair of peach-and-clay colored Vapor 9 sneakers.
Next up for Nike: top-seeded Serena Williams, who later on Monday eked out a slim victory against Under Armour sensation and fellow American Sloane Stephens, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
(Stephens last month told Footwear News that Under Armour supplies all of her performance footwear, including a bespoke pair created specifically for the Roland Garros tournament. She also talked about her go-to tournament television watching and nightly dinner ritual.)
Tennis fans — and Nike, of course – had been hoping the 33-year-old Williams and Sharapova would meet up in the finals. Williams will now face 17th seed Sara Errani of Italy for a spot in the semi-finals.
There’s always Wimbledon. That tournament starts later this month, June 29, at the All England Club.