Top-ranked tennis star and Nike-sponsored athlete Simona Halep was defeated in the third round of the Miami Open today, by Agnieszka Radwanska.
After winning the first set 6-3, the No. 1-ranked Halep fell to Poland’s Radwanska in the following two sets, 2-6, 3-6.
Earlier in the week, Halep faced a difficult challenge from France’s Oceane Dodin during the second round, but emerged victorious. Her luck ran out in today’s competition.
The Miami Open has had almost as many upsets as the current NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Tennis icon Serena Williams’ comeback effort was cut short on March 21, as she lost in straight sets in the first round of the Open, to 20-year-old up-and-comer Naomi Osaka.
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Osaka is certainly a rising star on the circuit. Coincidentally, she also beat Halep in the semifinals at Indian Wells, and went on to win the tournament to claim her first WTA title.
While she’s struggled in the past couple of tournaments, Romania’s Halep was the recipient of good news in February, when she signed a sponsorship deal with Nike.
She had previously partnered with Adidas for four years, but the two parted ways in December after their contract negotiations fell through. At the first tournament of the season, in Australia, Halep competed sans logo in a pair of subtly-marked Adidas sneakers. But at Indian Wells and Miami she’s been sporting the Swoosh head to toe. In Miami, for instance, Halep wore a pale peach version of Nike’s Air Zoom Vapor shoe.
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