Simona Halep Wins French Open, Besting Fellow Nike Athlete Sloane Stephens

Simona Halep bested Sloane Stephens at the French Open in Paris today, winning the first Grand Slam trophy of her career.

After losing the first set and going down a break, Halep battled back to beat Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Romanian athlete claimed a victory on the clay after losing in two previous appearances at the French Open finals, in 2014 and 2017.

Halep signed with Nike in February after playing without a sponsor in the Australian Open. The 26-year-old announced her partnership with the Swoosh on social media, posting a photo to her Facebook account with the caption, “Just do it. I did it.”

Previously, Halep had a contract with Adidas. According to Romanian media, her Nike deal is worth $2 million annually.

Like Halep, Stephens signed a deal with Nike this year, ending a longtime partnership with Under Armour. The American earned her first title at a major tournament at the U.S. Open in September 2017 and won the Miami Open in March.

Although Serena Williams returned to the French Open for her first Grand Slam event since giving birth to her daughter, the star was forced to pull out of the tournament because of an injury to her right pectoral muscle. The American withdrew from the tournament before a highly anticipated match with rival Maria Sharapova.

Tomorrow, No. 1 Rafael Nadal will take on No. 7 Dominic Thiem in the men’s finals. The Nike-sponsored Nadal is the favorite, having won 10 French Opens during his illustrious career. The match begins at 9 a.m. ET and will air on NBC.

 

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